My wife has always been drawn to Lighthouses. She wasn’t able to really express what it was about the Lighthouse that she was drawn to, but she always felt a gravitational pull towards them. We spent our honeymoon in Maine and this was the first time I had an opportunity to photograph a Lighthouse. We visited several and found lots of great Lighthouse knick knacks that we started decorating our homes with. Gradually, over the years, between my photographs and paintings my mother did as well as the knick knacks we have acquired, we have an entire bathroom devoted to Lighthouses. It was this bathroom that finally led to an answer as to why she was a Lighthouse fetish.
Her brother came over to our house one day, and, of course, had to use the bathroom. He came out of the bathroom completely shocked! He then explained that he has a bathroom in his house that is also devoted to Lighthouses. He and my wife began talking about how they both have been drawn to Lighthouses for years now and he was able to tell us a story as to why he thinks they share this fascination.
Their maternal grandfather died off the shore of Long Island, near Montauk. He was a passenger on a ferry. The ferry was carrying more than it’s capacity that day, and a freak storm struck, capsizing the ferry. Many people drowned that day, swimming in the frigid waters, trying to reach shore, using the Beacon of the Montauk Light as their guide. That Beacon was the last thing their grandfather saw. They never knew their grandfather, as this all happened before their mother and father had even met. But, nonetheless, they are drawn to the light just like their grandfather was that fateful day.
For my wife, the beacon of a lighthouse is a call to home. It is that sign of a safe haven. Her true north. So I have developed a love of photographing lighthouses. My Maine Lighthouse pictures are all in a box somewhere. They were taken over 20 years ago on a Canon AE-1, a film camera. one of these days i will find the negatives and get them into digital format. For now, I will continue to take a picture of every Lighhouse I come across. Next summer will be Cape Cod again and I would love to get some shots of the several Lighthouse on the cape that I haven’t gotten to yet. I hope soon to be able to travel back to the West Coast and shoot all the Oregon and Washington Lighthouses.
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