Liz Milward Wins April 2019 Work Share “Competition” OFF THE BEATEN PATH

OFF THE BEATEN PATH Winner, April 2019.
©Elizabeth Milward 2019

Congratulations to Liz Milward for winning this month’s “competition” OFF THE BEATEN PATH!

This was a tough theme to interpret.  It would be easy to take the literal approach.  And really hard to take a non-literal approach. 

Several interesting photos were submitted, and the votes were distributed among a few photos. There were literal interpretations and non-literal interpretations.

This photo received the most votes.  How would you classify it?

For me, at first glance, it seemed like a literal interpretation.  And I have to confess that I was rooting for a non-literal interpretation to win.

However, I kept coming back to this photo.  It has a mysterious, uneasy feel to it.  Those shadows in the lower corners bother me.  Even scare me a little. 

The setting of the photo seems to be in a foreign country. Europe perhaps?  The mid-east?  And we are there at night.  No others are on this path with us now.

We are headed down a lit-up path though, towards a bright space in the distance.  That’s reassuring.  But then there are those two stairways in the mid-distance.  What could be lurking there?  Where do they lead?

And then it hit me. The photo could also be a metaphor for the paths we all have to take in life to “get to the light.”  Whether learning something new, or just trying to make our way through life. For us as individuals, there is no roadmap to follow. Each and everyone of us is off the beaten path as we go through life.

The uneasy, scary shadows are the doubts and fears we experience as we proceed. We think we see the way to the light.  It looks pretty inviting right now.  But: What about those stairs?  Those detours or choices we could make? Could they bring us to an even better future, or be a dead end that we should have avoided? 

We don’t really know because we are in an unfamiliar place, a foreign place as the present leads us to the future.  Should we press on towards the light, or take a different path among multiple choices? Will the light be all that it’s cracked up to be? Will we be disappointed?

These are questions for the ages.  And Liz’s photo illustrates them for me.