Lens & Context -
The Cathedral of the Homeless Saint

The Cathedral of the Homeless Saint | © Preston Lewis thomas


I am not a religious man, at least not in the general sense. I do not believe in the idea of an omnipotent and jealous being watching over me. I do not believe for even one minute that we were “born in sin” or in the idea that we must somehow atone for being born in the first place. I believe that Heaven and Hell are opposite sides of the same coin, and that perspective is everything.
I believe that for better or for worse, we are the architects of our lives, and these lives are what we continually make of them.
And I believe in Faith.
Redundant, perhaps.
Indulge me.

In her work titled "Walking and Falling" artist Laurie Anderson posits the idea that with each step we take, we fall forward slightly and then catch ourselves from falling. Over and over, though we don't realize it, we're falling and then catching ourselves from falling. And this is what we call walking.
Quite simply, walking is an act of Faith.
Faith that we will catch ourselves. 
We are otherwise motionless without Faith.
And so to this photograph, I have no idea what so captivates my muse. She sits in this bus shelter with her belongings as more than one bus passes her by. And she does not move except for the lifting of a finger to turn a page. I assume that she is holding a Bible, though the book has no outer markings. 
The book is old and worn.

Her garments and outsized crucifix are out of context. Perfectly normal within the confines of some great and ancient cathedral, but on this evening street it seems as though she has wandered onto the wrong set in a movie studio.

She does not belong here.
My muse is homeless, and perhaps that is the falling.
Immersed in this tattered and torn book, perhaps within she will catch herself from falling.