allowed to grieve

so the previous post touched on a little about what makes this job not so much a job. of course it's not always so positive.

today was spent on the road an hour east in goldsboro trying to find some art to go with a follow-up to the tragic story of four people who died on the 4th when their truck full of fireworks blew up on ocracoke island.
story here.

all four were members or had some connection to the the lord's table church.
so that's where i started. and so did every tv station in the area.
i hate these kind of things. especially when you have no choice but to work with a large pack of other journalists armed with tripods and mics... like a school of piranha waiting to attack any new news morsel. times like this it's easy to see why the profession is often despised.

well there was no memorial set up yet. the church doors were locked and no one was answering my calls. and i can't blame them.

though my intentions were good. and one of the reasons (if not the most important) we're here is to make sure these victims aren't just seen as victims but as the human beings they are is not often easily (or quickly) understood by the survivors we descend upon. once again... i can't blame them.

but senior pastor bill wilson was in and he finally came out to welcome all of us in for an interview. a very generous and tough thing to do. one of the victims, terry holland, was like a son to him as they'd known each other for twenty-something years and holland had been the building maintenance worker for the past few years.

anyway... there was still nothing here in terms of active storytelling art that we needed. but i did notice a lot of tissue boxes laying around from sunday's service. that was storytelling in what the congregation had to go through the day before.

sadly sunday was the first time in eleven years that pastor wilson dreaded going to church.
but he did and this is what he told his flock. i think it's apropos to a lot of life's tragic misfortunes...

"we need to be allowed to mourn and grieve and weep and cry and you do all those. it's natural. it's part of the process.

but after you've mourned, grieved and wept, you need to submit.

need to submit to the fact that it did happen.
you didn't want it to happen, but it did happen.
there's nothing you could have done about it.

you need to forgive and not blame anybody.
you can't battle 'why this? why that'.

then you need to celebrate the positive things in the individual's life.
during the bad times you have to remember the good times.
and we had some good times through the years.

and we will work our way through this process.

there are times i'm stronger, times i'm weaker. same for you. but we draw strength from each other. there's no 'big potato', no 'little potato' here. just mash potatoes. we're all family here."


Candler Arts said...

That's a creative photo, but I was wondering: Did you place the tissue box on the seat? I ask because I came across a sidewalk where someone had written MOD in the wet cement and a glove was left or dropped next to the D. I liked that so I took a photo, but it made me wonder about arranged photographs.

shawn rocco said...

Thanks for the comment. It's a good question and one that I hear often. Unless it's a portrait or illustration I don't arrange items in photographs. Though there have been some instances of it (or over-Photoshopped work) the majority of photojournalists don't.
There were tissue boxes everywhere, mostly on the floor. This one just happened to be on the chair. Though when I saw it, I wished their were a few others on the chairs in the background to add some depth and make it easier to let your eye wander around. As a staff photojournalist it is considered unethical to arrange items in a photograph... it's akin to making up quotes. And our relationship with our audience is based on trust. They need to trust that we're telling as whole a truth as possible. Us being at a scene already "taints' it some, but we try to keep it as true to reality and leave as small a footprint as possible.
Of course I have a little more leeway, because this is my personal blog, but that doesn't matter. I still adhere to the practice of journalism ethics as if I was on assignment for the paper. Which in this case I was. I just happened to see something that I was attracted too and knew wouldn't run in the paper.

shawn rocco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shawn rocco said...

UPDATE...check out this link to recent plagiarism in the colorado springs gazette and read the editor's reasoning at the end.

unfortunately this stuff happens. happy to see it was dealt with swiftly.

wait... geez, here's another, though it's up for debate. but look at what even debate can do to shred trust...
new york times mag withdraws a possibly altered photo essay

and check out the comments at a photo editor

Anonymous said...

Great photo