It’s not so much that I want (or hope) to find enough light in these recent (even ongoing) events to offset their darkness — though the heroism so often found amidst the shadows is as blessedly present in them as it will ever be. It’s that I want to be reminded that such ugliness and tragedy are (and will always be) part of a much larger picture — a picture across which hopefulness and self-sacrifice are vividly splashed, even if news stories and social networks focus us so myopically on the darker hues.
This Friday, I found a little bit of that picture in Todd Frazier’s home run, in Brother Matthew Desme’s conviction, and in Ole Salomonsen’s amazing Aurora Borealis time-lapse, Polar Spirits. But for some inexplicable reason, the most emotional uplift I’ve received so far comes from the story of Matej Peljhan’s “Le Petit Prince.”
Slovenia photographer Matej Peljhan has a touching series of photographs titled The Little Prince, which stars a 12-year-old boy named Luka. The images show the boy exploring an imaginary world created by laying colored sheets and household objects on the ground. Peljhan created the images to give Luka the feeling of being able to do things he can’t.
You see, Luka suffers from muscular dystrophy, a disease that causes his body to become weaker and weaker over time.
Due to the degenerative disease, Luka is unable to do even the most basic of everyday activities such as washing himself, dressing, and eating. His physical capability is mostly limited to tiny movements of his fingers, which allow him to move about in his electric wheelchair. He is also able to hold a colored pen, with which he can slowly turn his imagination into drawings in a notebook.
During a conversation he had with Luka, Peljhan learned that the boy wished to see himself in photographs walking, exploring, and getting into mischief.
Thanks to Peta Pixel and This Is Colossal for bringing this story to my attention. It’s exactly what I need right now: a reminder that the man being hunted through Boston at this moment is far less representative of humanity than our rapt attention over the past few days would suggest.
Thank God for that.