My Rosary Has Broken and My Beads Have All Slipped Through

A few days ago, I had lunch with a photography friend.

We lovingly shared, over tacos and drinks, remembrances of life, love, and photography.

It was delightful.

The prickly part, if that is the right word here, was our joint recollection of two, mutual friends, both of whom died, relatively recently, prematurely, in photography-related experiences.

When I went to bed that evening, I continued reminiscing about the paths of my two friends, who left the earth in such an untimely manner.

We are born. We live. We die. It is the circle of life.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Memento Mori-the inevitability of death.

Death, in my worldview, is not a dark or morbid thing, it is simply the end of life.

We did not exist before birth. We will not exist after death.

To believe otherwise is a matter of faith, not science.

Today, with mortality still on my mind, I went to photograph the first of several El día de Los Muertos events. (The Day of the Dead)

On the way to today’s shoot, “Sixty Years On” by Elton John, ironically came up in my Spotify playlist.

I love this song. It moves me and speaks to me about nostalgia and the inevitable passage of time. Tiktok tiktok.

The song was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and released in 1970 as part of John’s self-titled second album. It was one of the first songs they wrote together, and it shows their influence from Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. The song also has an anti-war message, as it was written during the Vietnam War era.

“My rosary has broken, and my beads have all slipped through.”

Yep. That’s me.

Once a card-carrying Christian, I am now an unashamed, proud, passionate, and quite studied atheist (humanist).
I don’t believe in God, an afterlife of any kind, or immortality of the soul.

This life is not a dress rehearsal for an afterlife. This life, at least according to science (and me), is all we’ve got.

This humanist philosophy of mind, heart, and spirit, makes me, with every ounce of energy in my temporal being, want to leave this world a better place than when I arrived.

This philosophy is still another reason why I work so hard at photography-to leave my legacy and remembrance behind, in photographs.

Long live photography. Long live us all.



Jack Hollingsworth