Pin It

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Time and Place: Only as big as his ideas

This photo was taken at 12:33 p.m., July 17, 2012 at the corner of Forsyth Street and Margaret Mitchell Square.

Facing a quickly approaching print deadline I hurried to downtown Atlanta to come up with a Time and Place photo. After an hour of shooting, I had a few options and finally chose this image (check out the photos that were not selected after the break). I picked this image for its composition. I like how the three men seemingly form a perfect diagonal line.

I spoke with the man holding the sign by phone after he picked up this week's issue, which hit newsracks today, and saw the photo. His name is Richard Conner. What follows is an edited version of what he said:

"I live down here as a homeless man. I was called to heal the homeless and sick by God through a movement of love. The day you took the photo I was struggling.

"That picture is me thinking about my mother's offers for me to come home. A lot of people say I am on a fanatical trip. That is what my mother and wife say — that I take everything to the extreme. I had been talking to God a lot. He says I can go home whenever I want. It's been raining for a week-and-a-half straight and living out on the street has been very tedious. No sleep, no food.

"I do stuff out of conviction. I feel like if the people at the top don't want to meet all of us in the middle I would rather live on the bottom where other people have to. I am wiling to sacrifice myself for God and that is what I was thinking about — how God told me I could go home and I was sitting there struggling with the question of, 'Is that copping out, if I go home?' Or was God telling me that he knows I can't do it? Or was he telling me to continue? Is God trying to tell me I know this path is tedious and I know you are not strong enough to do it? Or that he is molding me to be who I need to be? That is what I was thinking about when you took my photo. I was actually looking up to the sun and that picture just talks to itself. The guy sleeping and the other guy is working and then me, that's the cycle. I am the philosopher, the other person is the worker, and the other guy is aloof."

"I eat out of the trash and live on the street. I do this as a sacrifice to God. Today all I have eaten is pizza crust out of the garbage. I don't see anything wrong with it. The other day, I ate a piece of chicken that was on the very bottom of the trash and there was no trash bag and it was a nasty trash can. Some days it rains and when it rains it's very hard to get food. The first time I ate out of the garbage I was thinking everybody was staring at me and clutching their purses. That is almost harder to take then the the actual food."

"I have a wife and a daughter that need me but I feel right now God needs me to make this statement. My message is love. Everybody strives for love and I think that's the medicine that will heal the world."

"It is a blessing that you took my photo. It is something that I have been asking God for."

After the break, check out the other Time and Place photos we did not use.

This photo is of people riding the escalator at the Peachtree Center MARTA station. They are going up the huge escalator. But because of the way I held the camera, it looks like they are leaning forward.
  • Joeff Davis
  • This photo is of people riding the escalator at the Peachtree Center MARTA station. They are going up the huge escalator. But because of the way I held the camera, it looks like they are leaning forward.

This guy was playing saxophone in his car as he drove down Peachtree Street.
  • Joeff Davis
  • This guy was playing saxophone in his car as he drove down Peachtree Street.

This photo made me think the surveyor's head was a machine.
  • Joeff Davis
  • This photo made me think the surveyor's head was a machine.

I liked this photo because the light pole adds an interesting dimensionality.
  • Joeff Davis
  • I liked this photo because the light pole adds an interesting dimensionality.

Tags: ,

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Latest in Fresh Loaf

More by Joeff Davis

Search Events

Search Fresh Loaf

Recent Comments

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation