“The Queen of Sheba Meets the Duke of Earl”

“My Rock” (c) Jim Glennon

My rock.

“It’s that little extra something in a snapshot that transforms a photograph into something more: a visual interpretation of one’s vision.  A story, captured in a frame. It’s that special skill . . .— the photographer’s eye.”

Jim had the photographer’s eye, and this particular frame of a window on his world never fails to make me smile.

He took it during that last trip, folding his lanky frame so he could kneel in stone-strewn sand and zoom in on a festively mohawked iguana, impervious to our admiring attention.  The iguana rested his armor-plated chin on the rock and clasped it firmly between splayed fingers which echo the royal ridges in his neatly appointed crest and caudal spines.  

My rock, he seemed to be announcing.  My world, here in my hands right now.  I am satisfied.   What more could I need?

Jim, the family rock for a large and extended family, happily took photographs of these striking (though perhaps not traditionally handsome) creatures.   Knowing he was not far from death, Jim remained as content in each moment as those iguanas seemed to be.  What more could I need than to be with my family in this place in the sun, looking at such creatures, in this moment?  

This was the world through Jim’s eyes.

Book Galapagos_101224_131
Contemplative Cover Boy (c) Jim Glennon

When we uploaded thousands of pictures (from no fewer than five cameras among the six of us) from this trip, they arranged themselves by date and without distinguishing their photographers by name.  But I have absolutely no hesitation in picking out every one of Jim’s pictures, no matter what the subject–and even when several of us were taking pictures from the very same spot.

The world through my eyes always has been different than Jim’s–and often far less well-lit and composed.

Asked to depict our own pictorial windows on the world, a musical refrain immediately took up residence in my brain.  (Technically, I suppose, Peter Gabriel probably should have provided the earworm for this task)   Once again, though, John Hiatt’s lyrics speak of what’s been shattered and lost, but are set to an irresistibly upbeat bluesy track.  

(It does not suffice simply to tap a toe to John Hiatt song: you need to unleash tense muscles,  loosen your shoulders, stand up and dance.)   


Ireland 1424
Counting Sheep in Dublin, June 2013

“A cup of coffee in a shaky hand
Wakin’ up in a foreign land
Tryin’ to act like I got somethin’ planned
That’s my window on the world. . . .”

 Ireland 1024

“That’s my window on the world
Could you stand a little closer, girl
The Queen of Sheba meets the Duke of Earl
That’s my window on the world”

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

4 thoughts on ““The Queen of Sheba Meets the Duke of Earl””

  1. What a beautiful post, and what a gift Jim had for capturing something magical in front of his eyes 🙂 you must have missed him on your latest trip…..but how precious that you had him while you did.

  2. Thank you. Oh, did we miss him. I had a crying jag from Dublin to Edinburgh when I looked at the little plane on the tarmac and was flooded with thoughts of the last little plane we took, to a wee island in the Galapagos. It was, however, wonderful to see my youngest finally pick up her camera again, which was her dad’s camera, and try out her talented eye on all those new sights.

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