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When the Angels Fall

By MichaelBilottaPhotography    
I run across people of faith all the time in my life; at work, on social media, in my family, and it always is a tightrope to walk. I am, it seems , obligated to respect and endure their personal beliefs when they speak of it out loud, but if I choose to express my beliefs, or non-beliefs, it is apparently insulting theirs.

I did my time with the faith that I was raised with, or rather, thrust upon me. Twelve years of Catholic school, a 2 year stint as an altar boy, and in those schools, daily religion or morality classes. In college, already done with the Catholic faith and Christianity in general, I was searching for something else to attach to, to be fulfilled by, to believe in.

Nothing held me, nothing rang true.

It is a cold comfort, the acceptance in religion as fiction, as myth, as superstition. It is not a pride, not a satisfaction I feel in arriving at this point. In fact, it makes the finality of death all the more terrifying, this certainty that nothing of us survives our final hours. But it also makes the faithful a little surreal and detached to me, as I cannot comprehend how anyone - a parent, a scholar, an average person, can live a span of years in this time and still believe in these superstitions, these tall tales to rock our souls to sleep in peace.

So my image is filled with a few nods to my old faith, my searching. The star of Bethlehem, the catholic priest with Christ-like wounds on his hands, the eternal flame of the altar, even some pillars to suggest a church fallen to decay or the strength of mighty Sampson of the Old Testament. a Bible is dropped into the water, and a drift of Tarot Cards in the foreground. A carrion crow awaits to tear the flesh from the dead carcass of that sloughed off faith. Regarding the priest in the scene, I imagine, like a cop, like a doctor, seeing all hearing all the suffering and ugliness this world and its occupants can muster, it must be next to impossible for them to hold onto the Faith they dedicated their life to early on, and the fall must be twice as hard from that vantage point.

My title comes from a Sting song, which contains the lyric:

Take your father's cross
Gently from the wall
A shadow still remaining
See the churches fall
In mighty arcs of sound
And all that they're containing
Yet all the rugged souls
Looking for their lost homes
Shuffle to the ruins
From the levelled plain
To search among the tombstones

When the angels fall
Shadows on the wall
In the thunder's call
Something haunts us all

When the angels fall..

Model: Felix P

a before and after of this image is available on my Facebook page:

Tags: Specialist and abstract Digitally manipulated Digital art Portraits and people Flash and lighting

Voters: pic4you, zapar40, Andysnapper and 25 more

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pic4you 13 1 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2013 4:45AM
Michael your pic oozes professionalism well done.
bluesandtwos 11 521 1 England
27 Jun 2013 9:51AM
One of your best picture/text combinations, it's so easy with this one to understand the image.
People with a faith, whether it be religion or just a belief in a parrallel world to pass to on their demise, have a great comfort during their time in this world and, for that alone, there is good in it.

Yet another brilliant example of your insight and skills, what more can I say! Smile

Daisymaye Plus
12 23 19 Canada
27 Jun 2013 12:28PM
A brilliant worked image and one where we can see our own portrayal of what it means to us. I like to study the image first and come up with my theory and then read yours.......Sandy
Lelah 8 1 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2013 2:09PM
To the text and the image all I can say is WOW!!!!!!
27 Jun 2013 3:43PM
Your images are so full of underlying story and emotion. And so well executed as well

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