Weekend Photo Challenge: Beyond (beauty beyond love)


This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Beyond“. Basically, the challenge was to find a picture that guides the viewer’s eye beyond the primary subject of the photo. I’ve chosen the above photo.

In the summer of 2006, between the sophomore and junior years of college (when my hair still looked like this), I did a Study Abroad program in writing art, and architecture in Glasgow, Scotland. It was my first time out of the country, and my first time flying by myself. For all my youthful expressions of confidence, I was still scared.

Anyway, after getting on the plane on one of the runways of Richmond International Airport, I noticed a group of older ladies having to talk across the aisle to one another.

They were funny and loud, but in an inviting way, and not annoying, but the most distinctive thing about them was their thick, barely-understandable Scottish accents. I eventually asked them, and discovered that we were all indeed hitting the same connecting flights, and ultimately heading to Glasgow. They told me to stick with them and they’d help me navigate.

We made the flight, survived the trip, and landed in Glasgow.

We students had been told to find our own way to the student dorms, most likely by taxi. As I was waiting for one, one of my ladies, Marjorie, found me. She said that her son was one of the twenty-something individuals in the entire city that had been given a special government allowance to drive one of the famous British black cabs. She said he was picking her up, and that he’d be happy to give me a free ride wherever I needed to go. Further, she would ensure they’d take the scenic route.

I sheepishly agreed, not being used to this much kindness. They took me on a brief, yet breath-taking tour of the area leading to the dorm. They told me stories and history and corrected some of my wrong understandings or assumptions of Scottish culture and geography. Of all the students on this Study Abroad program, I definitely received the best introduction to the city and its people.

They dropped me off, and I went through my month of classes, tours, programming, events, and experiences. The last week of my stay in Glasgow, though, I phoned Marjorie up and she offered to give me one last experience before I headed home.

And so, the day before I left Scotland, I met up with Marjorie, and she drove me to her “friend’s” cottage (I never could quite get a handle on what their relationship was) outside the city. We had a great dinner, and I heard story after story of their friendship and families, and lives. Afterward, they took me on the real highlight of this trip to the countryside.

We walked a couple of miles from his house and up this long, sloping mountain, to it’s peak–the highest point in the entire area, and I was able to look out on the beautiful expanse pictured above. They told me of the unique geography of the area, and it’s history and development. We both stood in silence as we watched the sunset, in one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.

While up there, I caught this beautiful picture above of this couple also staring into the same beauty. On a deeper level, I also love this picture for the sense it gives of love in general.

Following this week’s theme, this picture shows us what’s beyond this particular expression of love and comfort between the couple. Taking Space as a representation of Time (which it actually is), this picture captures that the true beauty of love is not merely in the immediate displays of affection, but it instead lies beyond, on into the bigger picture of life and the world.

And so, I returned from Scotland, never the same. And I can truly thank Ms. Marjorie Reid, of Glasgow, for making it an experience I’ve never forgotten. Below, you’ll find more pictures of my time with Marjorie, her son, and her “friend”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See my past Weekly Photo Challenges here.


This is WordPress’ little plug for the Weekly Photo Challenges:

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.


5 thoughts on “Weekend Photo Challenge: Beyond (beauty beyond love)

  1. Pingback: 1-24-13 Weekly Photo Challenge Beyond #3 (Going Beyond) « The Quotidian Hudson

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond « Dibbler Dabbler

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Love (beyond death) | the long way home

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