Yet from those flames

No light, but rather darkness visible.

— John Milton, Paradise Lost


The impulse to make a photograph begins with my recognition and connection to a particular moment — of JOY — of watching, of noticing, of stopping time, of love, of understanding that the life around me is fleeting and in motion, ending. I am rejoicing. My impulse to notate gestures into concrete and lasting images also forces a swell of a kind of sorrow. I am aware — of loss — of time, of habits, of particular relational experiences that will change. I become a spectator of the past.

Photographs accept the whole moment, these record joy & fear, joy & longing, joy & loss; a bittersweet that is simultaneously freeing and sad. I can’t intercept the viewers reaction to these particular images, but I can try through the prompt of one simple word to introduce a tension that might move us into open ground that includes opposites—the dichotomy that moved me to make the image in the first place.

Just like a tickle hurts, JOY is being alive with all that comes with it.

© Margo Halverson, DesignInquiry 2010