©2016 Dave Ortiz, from the series, Epistemology.

Although the calendar says it is still summer I can feel the autumn air glide in between the warm rays of the sun. It is a time of transition; Summer to Fall, Warmth to Cool, Summer Holidays to Work Days. Tomorrow is time for what is becoming an annual tradition; Family Fun Day. It is held by a great organization called, Be The Change. They do too many wonderful things to list but mainly they help the most vulnerable in our society. Family Fun Day is a picnic for homeless families from a specific shelter in Newark. Somehow I became the official photographer for this event. As part of the food and festivities each family or person can have their portrait taken by a professional photographer – that’s right, me. It’s a wonderful experience. I never realized how much a picture can mean to someone who doesn’t have the means to buy even a cheap camera.

But I digress slightly on my musings on the passage of time and seasons. Who knows what the future holds for any of us. All we can do is walk the path and try to see as far ahead as the fog of time and entropy allows. Summer turns to autumn, children become adults and leave home, people retire, loved ones pass away. I often stop and wonder in the middle of doing things and take in the wonder of how I got to be in a particular space at a particular time. Family Fun Day is usually one of those times. The people I talk with and photograph remind me of everyone I ever encountered growing up in Brooklyn. They are warm and friendly and loving, and yes there are one or two who have “personal issues” (to be polite) but in this they are a reflection of any and all groups of people. But somehow wrong choices were made, doors were closed, opportunities missed or diverted by unscrupulous people, mortgages denied, jobs lost for myriads of reasons and they wound up here.

In a way this is the theme of my series, Epistemology, How do we know what is true? How can we know?


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