Saturday, May 3, 2008


Sir John Lubbock
"When we have done our best, we should wait the result in peace."

St. Amand de Coly, France 1995

Allan Bruce Zee, photographer

The "Waiting for the Believers" Story

This 13th century fortified Augustinian church was situated in a tiny village in the Dordogne region of southern France. As we approached the church, we noticed that a field was being burned outside the gates. When we entered, the early afternoon light was pouring in, illuminating the particulate matter in the air. The combination of the beam of light, the height and warmth of the stone walls, the worn, "soft" look of the stone floors and hundreds of old chairs set up in a totally empty church in a village of not more than 100 people, made for a setting ripe with a sense of spirit.

The "Waiting for the Believers" title came to me before I even started to photograph. It was as if the chairs were showing their patience. At one time, this was a burgeoning town and the site of an abbey, so the chairs were certainly filled. Humankind and individuals alike go through cycles of belief and non-belief, but the structure is always there, waiting patiently for the "believers" and "belief" to return. I knew this was a place and an image to which I felt a strong connection and wanted to make a solid attempt at trying to convey that feeling photographically. This was the first of several different images I took in the church and the one that says it best for me. It is a very difficult image to print, requiring 7 different exposures to selectively bring out different areas of the image and to keep the eye moving through the photograph.

This piece is truly about "light" and "the light" in its broadest and deepest sense.

— Allan Bruce Zee


I am not very good a waiting. I tend to be a bit on the impatient side. This is probably one time in my life that I have settled into waiting mode without anxiety or impatience but utter and total peace, just like the painting above conveys. Unusual. I only have one explanation for it, the power of prayer covering me and quieting my emotions. This waiting for an expected end is odd. You know it is coming only not when or at what hour. You jump when the
phone rings, you sleep lightly, even dreaming is put on hold as you maintain a semi~wakeful state, listening. I wonder if I will feel her departure these many miles away?

The photographer states that this is a difficult image to print, with many different exposures to bring out the different areas of the image in order to keep the eye moving through the photograph. The picture of my beloved grandmother dying is also a difficult image to print, many different exposures of the depth and light that is her life keep my minds eye moving through different scenes that make up her life album. Her life is truly about light and reflecting "the light" ~ which is Christ.

My family and I are waiting for the appointed hour of my grandmothers departure from the body that is failing moment by moment. She should have already been gone, had the hospital followed her wishes, she would have gently quit breathing and slipped away quietly. Now she seizes and rasps emanate in the form of breaths. They tell us there is no hope, too much damage to her brain and her body systems are shutting down ever so slowly. They should have let her go, we should let her go, but, like the physicians who swear an oath to save lives, we too want to fight letting go. So we sit, like the chairs in the painting, waiting patiently, for there is nothing more we can do save pray for release. We have done our best, so we wait the result in peace.

Miss Sandy


Fete et Fleur said...

Oh Sandy how agonzing! My prayers are for a swift departure to the arms of our Father.

xx Nancy

Auberne' Rose Ancalimon said...

Oh soooooo sorry! I will be praying!!!! Thank you for the nice comment! God bless you! ^-^

Auberne' Ancalimon @-`---

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Saying a prayer now before I go to bed that the passing from this life to the next will shift from a battle to a simple transition. I know that angels are in attendance and I know that they minister not only to your beloved grandmother, but also to your family.

How you write so beautifully at a time like this, I don't know, but you've described it so eloquently that I can feel the heartache and the hope.

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh sweet Sandy, I know how you are grandmother passed on the same way ~ only she had emphasema (sp?) and her lungs were tired but the rest of her body, not so. The end was not pretty as we wished for her passing to relieve her. To enter into the gates of Heaven and receive her new, healthy body. She was such a creative spirit and influence in my life! My thoughts and prayers are with you dear friend, xxoo, Dawn

bluemuf said...

Sandy, I will be thinking of you and your family and praying for all of you.

Hugs Karen

Anonymous said...

Blessings Denise

Lori said...

Miss Sandy, i am praying for your family and your beloved grandmother.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Dear Miss Sandy,

Soon a thousand angels will be singing at your grandmother's arrival. One thing that helps me during times such as these is to think about who will be waiting at the gate. I am sure that there will be a long line of loved ones and friends rejoicing that she is HOME.

Anonymous said...

In this waiting time, may the Lord gift you with sudden rememberances of the bigger gift that was her life in your life. May you be given the gift of language to name what needs to be named about how she made your living something to remember. My prayers are with you!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

I wonder sometimes why we delay that great celebration that awaits a person. Maybe it is to hold them one more minute, embrace them a bit longer and try to keep them with us for as long as we can.

I will say a prayer for you and your family.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Prayers on this evening for you, your family, and your precious grandmother.

kari & kijsa

Rosa said...

Hi Miss Sandy,
I'm keeping you all in my prayers as you go through this difficult time.

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