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I run across people of faith all the time in my life; at work, on social media, in my family, and it always is a tightrope to walk. I am, it seems , obligated to respect and endure their personal beliefs when they speak of it out loud, but if I choose to express my beliefs, or non-beliefs, it is apparently insulting theirs. I did my time with the faith that I was raised with, or rather, thrust upon me. Twelve years of Catholic school, a 2 year stint as an altar boy, and in those schools, daily religion or morality classes. In college, already done with the Catholic faith and Christianity in general, I was searching for something else to attach to, to be fulfilled by, to believe in. Nothing held me, nothing rang true. It is a cold comfort, the acceptance in religion as fiction, as myth, as superstition. It is not a pride, not a satisfaction I feel in arriving at this point. In fact, it makes the finality of death all the more terrifying, this certainty that nothing of us survives our final hours. But it also makes the faithful a little surreal and detached to me, as I cannot comprehend how anyone - a parent, a scholar, an average person, can live a span of years in this time and still believe in these superstitions, these tall tales to rock our souls to sleep in peace. So my image is filled with a few nods to my old faith, my searching. The star of Bethlehem, the catholic priest with Christ-like wounds on his hands, the eternal flame of the altar, even some pillars to suggest a church fallen to decay or the strength of mighty Sampson of the Old Testament. a Bible is dropped into the water, and a drift of Tarot Cards in the foreground. A carrion crow awaits to tear the flesh from the dead carcass of that sloughed off faith. Regarding the priest in the scene, I imagine, like a cop, like a doctor, seeing all hearing all the suffering and ugliness this world and its occupants can muster, it must be next to impossible for them to hold onto the Faith they dedicated their life to early on, and the fall must be twice as hard from that vantage point. My title comes from a Sting song, which contains the lyric: Take your father's crossGently from the wallA shadow still remainingSee the churches fallIn mighty arcs of soundAnd all that they're containingYet all the rugged soulsLooking for their lost homesShuffle to the ruinsFrom the levelled plainTo search among the tombstonesWhen the angels fallShadows on the wallIn the thunder's callSomething haunts us allWhen the angels fall..Model: Felix P http://www.modelmayhem.com/1611725a before and after of this image is available on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MichaelBilottaPhotography

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