Winding Trails

The hike of my life has covered a lot of winding trails and varied landscapes, with some long uphills where the work of the climbing has been forgotten in what I have seen all along the way. The Portfolio shows I look for color and texture and pattern and design in the details. I'm more telephoto than wide-angle, but I still like the big landscapes that remind me of my small place in the picture.

I've played at more curiosities and been around more different tools than a lot of people. My dad was more than an auto mechanic (mechanical genius, maybe). By the time I was 12, I could read a micrometer and run a metal lathe. I helped him build a house while I was in high school. We bought a "totalled" 1953 MG-TD and logged 4000 hours turning it into my dream. His shop was my playhouse. He let me dream, and encouraged my dreams he could not teach. He indulged most every curiosity I had that he could afford – and some he couldn’t.

I grew up in church, where my mother was a volunteer librarian and I sang in the children's choirs. She became a career librarian in schools. I went to college to be a minister. Many miles and a couple of lifetimes later, I have wound up being one.

I spent about 8 years in the mountains of North Carolina as a counselor for a state agency. The job paid for my photography "habit." I made a darkroom in the washer/dryer closet. I fell in love with large format, black2white. I learned to solo backpack light so I could carry a heavy camera. I took some good photographs I still count as good work.

In 1979, I put photography in storage and went back to Duke to do a grad degree in Religion. (Go Duke!) Renee and I got two great gifts - Jenna and John. For Christmas in '95, Renee told me I needed to unpack the camera and take my other life out of storage. It was the third best gift she ever gave me. So now I work as a pastor and play as a photographer.

All this to say this: The pastor David talks about "callings" (plural), not just "a calling." We can be and do wonderfully diverse things. I'm a husband and father and photographer and pastor and some other things. I'm glad I don't have to choose just one. I gladly admit the photographs are better than the sermons.

David Meriwether ...photographer

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