Drawn Away 2: Sprite Rising

comments 22
Abstract / Photography / Seascapes / Sunset


Today, in the United States, we celebrate Independence Day. It’s the anniversary of the day in 1776 when our forefathers said, “enough.” We declared ourselves independent of tyranny.

We, as a culture, have been — and remain —  fiercely independent. We carry that spirit of independence as a badge of honor. And we should. We fought hard for these values:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These words are as true now as they have ever been. But many things have changed in the years that have transpired since 1776. Our technical advances have made the world more complex and more interdependent. And our population has grown. Today, the action of one individual can have world-wide ramifications. With the exception of kings, that wasn’t true in 1776. It is true now.

Today’s reality is that independence must make peace with interdependence. In the world of 1776 where homesteads were separated by miles, with an average population density of about six people per square mile, pretty much anything could go without severely encroaching on the rights of others. Now, a typical city (Lynchburg, VA*) has a population density of 161 people per square mile. That’s a fairly small city. A larger city, Philadelphia for example, has a population density of 11,234 people per square mile. We are almost literally stepping on each other’s toes.

It’s not too difficult to see that in order for any of us to even have a decent shot at “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” we may need to make allowances for others. Here’s where personal independence and societal interdependence intersect and often conflict. But conflict is not inevitable. Not if each one of us takes some responsibility for the other guy.

We would do well to acknowledge that we may have different viewpoints on religion, politics, and economics. We may have different colors, genders, orientations, origins, and cultures. Yet we all have been “endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable Rights, …among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

If we all understand and respect the fact that we all have these rights, then we could — each one of us — independently decide to assist each other in fruition of these rights by showing that same respect for each other as individuals.

Then, as my sprite, we could all rise to greater heights.

Happy Fourth.

(Camera movement, intentional with a twist. Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

*Google “typical US city” and you’ll get Lynchburg.

More fine art photography at www.amagaphoto.com

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at www.amagaphoto.com All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. This puts a different twist on your usual posts. Pictorially, I almost expect to see that central wisp change as I watch it, so suggestive of movement is it. Textually, you’ve stepped beyond photography and nature in the conventional sense to human nature, which is harder to understand. (I’ve often thought that the older I get, the less I understand people.) Where to draw the line between mine and thine is a problem societies have struggled with ever since there were societies. American leaders in 1776 and again in 1787 made a heroic attempt to answer the question. Remaining true to the tradition all these years later continues to be a challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Steve. I like to think of this country, at its best, as a place where we can all be our best. What epitomizes this for me is the pioneer spirit where individuals were fiercely independent but also had a great concern and care for their neighbors. They had to. They were all in it together. And we are still in it together.


  2. Frank says


    Thoughtful, appropriate, and well-stated. I was uplifted by your words and reminded how simple communications such as the yours can cut through the chaos of life and restore calm. Thanks. Happy Independence Day to you too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carolle-Ann Mochernuk says

    Dear Michael – Beautfully expressed! You are a true idealist and write from your heart. Loved this meaningful message! Happy Fourth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to toot my own horn too much, but I fear that no one would vote for me because I’m too logical. But thank you very much, Gary, and happy Fourth to you!


  4. Another of your fine camera movement abstracts, Michael. These days are difficult times but it’s good to hear your words and take comfort that there are many good souls out there. Happy Independence Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the power, movement and emotion in this image. The more I look, the more I see going on – the warm and cool colors, for instance….anyway, it’s wonderful!!

    Liked by 1 person

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