Sunday, November 14, 2010

Element : Air

Air : Church fans, all those little churches sitting in the fields or the grand ones in the city had them . They were saviors from the stifling and hot air and message bringers from the local funeral home, dry cleaners or other respectable small community business . So basic a piece of card board a stick and 2 staples a fan for the everyman.On the front usually a portrayal of The Good Sheperd or Christ Knocking At The Door, Suffer Little Children which was always one of my favorites.I think I saw my first da Vinci Last Supper on the front of a fan. The late sixties and seventies came and then it was Martin Luther King or the ever popular Martin Bobby and John a new kind of Trinity.Funny thing I never saw a church fan in a Catholic church ,I never thought of it until now. The power of a fan and the ritual of using it in the south is as exotic as fan use in Asia or Spain or the 17th Century French Court.It is funny watching northerners use fans. Because they do not understand it is used for more than moving air.Seldom used as a flopping contrivance except when reviving a fainting sister.Fans can be exclamation point to let others know you are talking to a greater power.They can signal the end with a quick crisp thrust as if t say I've making a point. There should never be a flopping nor should there swooshing sounds, held close and dignified you are in church and where if there is a moment of desperation and you can not find a fan there is all ways the handy program. Of course we now have central air which is a lot less interesting to photograph . Jo Lynn Still has created an image that brings a flood of memories of hot summers sitting in a wooden room on wooden pews with the rainbow of stain glass light, listening to people moan and pray and sing my mind wandering after reading the message dying to escape out away into the air.The fan can be empowering but we all know who controls the air and he is not fanning

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