Image

Gravity

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In the world of photography, distraction is an unkind word. It’s compositional enemy No. 1, the stuff that gets into the frame and competes with the subject: clashing colors, stray objects …. Think wedding photo with a tree limb protruding from the bride’s head.

But before the shutter falls, distraction can be a godsend.

I am easily distracted, and sometimes it’s a blessing. Sometimes the best shot of the day is born in the light that flickers at the corner of my eye or the movement in a far reach of my peripheral vision, a force tugging me away from the gravity of what is supposed to be the subject.

One day recently I was following the action of a girls’ lacrosse game at Wheeler Farm, focused on the far end of the field, when a group of long jumpers pulled my attention away from the game. One by one, they soared across a canvas, the background being the white wall of an equipment shed. And even that distraction had distractions — other track athletes running through the scene and, of course, the lacrosse teams doing battle, the thing that was supposed to be my subject.

For the next few minutes I photographed the game but kept an eye on the long jumpers tracing dark arcs against the brilliant shed. At the halftime horn, the lacrosse players headed for the sidelines, and the distraction became the subject. Above, Wheeler School’s Lucas Kranseler, fighting gravity, every bit of him reaching for horizontal distance, makes his day’s final descent to Earth.

copyright 2017 Kris Craig / The Providence Journal / 2 Much Time design

I am Lucky

=== Imported from ATEX ===

I’m lucky I can run. It’s therapeutic, calming, relaxing. I was built for it – small frame, long legs. My skinny ankles turned out to be an asset. My knees hold up. I stay in constant motion; I don’t sit well. There was a time when I could win the race, not the age group. The race mattered to me – you either win or lose. There was nothing else. Black or white – I was good, not great. I could beat other runners, lots of them, and I liked that. Finishing first mattered. I don’t compete with others anymore. I run because I can. I liked the challenge, 5k, 10k, marathons. Distance didn’t matter. To do it right, to try to compete, you have to practice – a lot. I just don’t have that anymore. On a good day with the sun hiding behind clouds and the temperature just right, I will run longer than usual. I do trails. I do loops. I add one, two, three miles to the run – for fun. I’m lucky. I am sore some days, but it’s the good kind. I am not training for anything. I don’t stop, but know I can if I want to, or at least slow down. I see grays now. I run because I can. I’m lucky. I can run.

Copyright 2014 / Kris Craig / Providence Journal