163rd St. Pier

163 St Pier 1

I am dedicating this photograph to Jenny, my warrior mother-in-law. But, before revealing my reasons, I want to discuss the photograph.

It was taken in February while my wife and I were visiting Jenny in North Miami Beach. During our two weeks there only three days were overcast and stormy. Beautiful weather for vacationing, but not so much for sea and sky photography. I therefore spent a good portion of those stormy days at the ocean in view of the 163rd Street Pier with my camera gear.

Fortunately, getting to the 163rd Street pier from Jenny’s condo is easy. Even in the drizzle, having temperatures in the low seventies makes it an enjoyable three city-block, or so, walk.

There was no direct sunlight, only the promise of it. The clouds reflected the hidden light and the color that were revealed were spellbinding. Sadly, though, due to severe macular degeneration, this scene—in deed—any scene is no longer visible to my mother-in-law.

But that, in itself, is not the sole reason I’m dedicating this image to Jenny. In retrospect, after processing the photograph, what was captured here seemed most fitting for Jenny and many of her neighbors who eventually emigrated to America from Europe as survivors of the Second World War.  

More than surviving the war Jenny was a Resistance Fighter, someone who endured dark, horror-filled years in Warsaw as a member of the Polish Underground. (Her specific task was to help people escape the Nazis by leading them through Warsaw’s maze of sewer tunnels, a task that got her caught twice by the Nazi. Fortunately, both times, she escaped transportation to concentration camps.)

Listening to chilling stories of the atrocities she endured and thinking about her being legally blind for over thirty years, and then moments later, hearing her ever present and exuberant laugh, I stop, amazed, even humbled by, the strength and quality of Light that breaks through the dark clouds of her life’s many storms.

  Copyright © 2015  Richard Lange. All images and text on this web site are protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose whatsoever without the written consent of the artist.