Low Key Photo Challenge: Labor



Theme: Labor

1) I post a photo on a given theme.
2) You comment below with a link to your photo on that theme.
3) We all click over to see what you have.

That’s it. No prizes. No rules. No submissions. For more explanation, see [Inaugural Edition].

Progress Notes
Another phone shot. Dragged the big camera out. Tried to be artistic. It was crap. I’m not being coy. Sometimes you can tell as soon as you press the button that nothing is there. I was aiming for gorgeous golden hour light wafting gently over a still life of muck bucket and fork, contrasting the sublime and the mundane. Ah well, insert Ira Glass quote, Advice for Beginners, beautifully illustrated by Zen Pencils. Still, I technically took pictures with my Nikon, so points for that.

Theme Commentary
“We must learn to honor excellence in every socially accepted human activity, however humble the activity, and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity. An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
John Gardner
PBS: John Gardner, Writings

Hold the phone. I have been reading this quote wrong for years. I had only seen the second half, starting with ” The society that scorns … ” I took it to mean that we should not scorn plumbing as a humble activity. No. Gardner is saying that plumbing IS a humble activity but we should recognize excellence in it anyway.


So, why is plumbing humble & philosophy exalted? I know which one I’d rather have working in my house.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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