Alain’s passing leaves a void here, and that void can only partially be filled by words and pictures, even though we try our hardest to find words and pictures that might help. And I have no words better than these.
Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Love and peace from all of us, Alain. Fly Away Home!
I’ve submitted around 550 photos to OTR over the past few years, Alain showed the most enthusiasm for my Orion nebula photos (even though my first efforts were not terribly good). But that showed the encouragement Alain provided in addition to a platform for us as contributors. Many photographers are not the best at “blowing our own horn” and Alain was there when we didn’t.
I’m eternally grateful and I think that this photo of the Orion and Running Man nebula is something that he would have enjoyed and I hope that you do as well.