The Roots of Sin

By: pbcmedia

Dec 17 2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Catholic Church, Deep Thoughts, Humor, Personal, Photography


Focal Length:85mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

The “festive” challenge for this week’s SPACC was sin.

I’ve been schooled in sin, literally.  My extensive Catholic education was always focusing on Original Sin, Mortal Sin, Venial sin, deadly sins, all sorts of sin.   At the school I attended, each girl in her uniform had to recite sections of the New Testament each morning, sinning was always a possible topic.

The story that undermined the whole sin shebang for me, however, was the Adam and Eve story in Genesis and a painting by the great Michelangelo.    We know the story: the serpent tempted, Eve picked the no-no apple, gave it to Adam, he bit, and boom! they’re shown the door of the kingdom of heaven.  Original Sin was born.

Aside from saying to one of my teachers, “Seriously, who would not want to eat the apple from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?”  I sort of accepted the events until I saw, at the age of 11, a painting by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.  It’s in the most famous chapel in all of Roman Catholicism.  Adam and Eve were being thrown out of the Garden of Eden and it looked to me that  some of their problems may have arisen because they didn’t have any clothes on.  And, if there was one thing that those nuns stressed, I knew that the Catholic Church really, really didn’t want folks to be nude.  Ever.

So, there you have it.  At the age of eleven, I began to think that the Catholic Church may have overreacted a bit to this sin thing by creating all these striations of sin.  But, I did have to give them props for not burning Michelangelo at the stake, a practice they approved of for “heretics” until, well…until they didn’t.

Call me crazy, blasphemous, or the holder of erroneous opinions,  but I consider burning people at the stake sort of a no-brainer in the mortal sin department.

©Pat Coakley 2008



Mt. Brooks






12 comments on “The Roots of Sin”

  1. And those roots look like they’re insinuating themselves right through the fires.
    Seems we’ve had bigger sins to be frightened of than John Ashcroft covering a statue.
    Sounds like you’ve broken free of your drape of guilt.

  2. Beautiful color tones. Great work, Pat. This could be my favorite of yours so far.

  3. […] review Russ, Pat, Conni, Chris, Smack and […]

  4. now this is really something that absolutely convinces me to look at issues from a different angle and to laugh and i like the blackandblueishness of the roots and the brightness of the orangey pineneedles, beautiful. it is so much fun to visit you, thanks

  5. My first thought when I saw this shot was of the Brothers Grimm. Quite often in their tales, the forest is portrayed as menacing and scary.

    I’ve often wondered about why European folklore is so often frightened of the forest. The fear isn’t directed at people in the forest but rather the animals, trees and malevolent magic. Perhaps is some kind of cultural memory stretching way back to the times of the Druids and their reverence of oak trees and bloody sacrifices.

    This fear of the forest can still be seen in modern literature. For example, Fanghorn forest in the Lord of the Rings. It seams strange to me that a tree could be seen as evil.

    Fear is such an effective way to control people and I’m sure the nuns knew well, how to scare the hell out of you when you were little.

  6. Bonnie, breaking free of guilt is a life long challenge. Being able to see shades of gray in life helps. It’s the black and white, rigid thinking that ultimately drove me away from religion.
    Thanks, Mt. Brooks. I’m learning how to use some of the more sophisticated level and curves adjustments. It works with some images, not so much with others.
    O, Tipota, you are welcome to stop by every day!! I’m glad it is fun for you. It’s actually fun for me, too!

    Razz, I watched the tutorials you mentioned and feel a little more adventuresome in the image tone department! And, yes, fear was a staple of the religious education.

  7. oooh those roots look like veins. For some, their sins are so intertwined with their life’s blood, they just live it daily… I like the pine needles…very reminiscent of Michigan’s Pine trees.

  8. I defiantly agree with Sweetie, those are some veiny roots! The deep deep tones really pack a punch. Fantastic.

  9. This photo made me think of death when I first saw it. Not just any death but a tomb buried deep & protected by the roots of this tree. Your narrative reminds me of “Paradise Lost”… “The mind is in itself it’s own place & can choose to make a Heaven of Hell or a Hell of Heaven.” The Heavenly reaction I had is that the roots represent an eternal life… One that will never be uprooted easily.

  10. Renee, I love that idea that sins are so interwined with life’s blood. So interesting. So, true.

    Russ: This is an example of taking a photo first and then using it for the theme. Had no idea when I took it over the weekend that I would use it for this challenge. Anyway, I am learning about Curves and Levels!! It’s about friggin’ time.

    Conni, Now this take on the photo so intrigues me. The depth and protection of the roots…wow. Paradise Lost…the mind is it’s own place and can choose heaven or hell…eternal life…girl, this is going to keep me alert all day.

  11. I strongly agree with Conni’s comments. Now all I can see is a web of protection over top of a tomb.

  12. I know, Mt. Brooks. Once Conni said it, I look at the this photo differently, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: