Young Men Don’t Smile
16 Feb 2023

The believer is happy – it is said – the doubter wise. All good and well, but one might then ask: Then how wise is the doubter really?

Young men don’t smile – they frown or remain blank, determined to look strong, wanting to hide their cracks and weaknesses. Those whose cracks are apparent for all to see, know how crucial it is to smile – even laugh – every moment they possibly still can.

There is much to be said for the cool detachment of reason, the overwhelming power of logic, the undeniable supremacy of accurate realism…

But may I never be so arrogant to lose my awe, my sense of wonder, my willingness to experience that which can’t be explained, the ability to engage with mystery.

I was shooting a thing in a city in the north, and went in to the church on a whim. There I saw this couple, standing in awe. Turns out the choir was practising that day… and the angelic, heavenly sounds rose around architecture and decoration put in place during a time when people still took pride in carving lasting monuments to beauty.

There for a moment – my certainties left me – and I was cradled by a warmth greater than myself.

I had a beautiful interlude… my little moment.

Then I went to continue on my journey.

Young men don’t smile.