Today’s Portrait: FIREFIGHTER

No, today’s portrait isn’t a flower! It’s occurred to me that other objects besides flowers can emanate presence and personality. Can demonstrate QUIDDITAS, the quality that Aristotle meant when he wrote of “thatness,” or “whatness,” or “what it is.”

When I was painting still lifes, that was the quality I was always trying to capture. The quidditas, the essence of the thing or things.

Admittedly it wasn’t what I had in mind when I offhandedly snapped this photo. I didn’t really have anything much in mind beyond, Hey, I wonder what the camera will do to this. And then, to my amazement and delight, there it was. There HE was.

The Firefighter

I can see him clear as anything, his silver helmet, his sturdy right arm ready with the hose. Not simply a fire hydrant down the lane, but The Firefighter!

Well, maybe it is isn’t quidditas. Maybe it’s another Greek concept. Maybe I’m dealing with metamorphosis. Whatever it is, it’s mythic, and it startles and amuses me. Maybe it will startle and amuse you too —

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23 Responses to Today’s Portrait: FIREFIGHTER

  1. Carolina says:



  2. Firefighter Kennedy, born in 1987. Still a youngster. HE is all that! πŸ™‚


  3. A beautiful industrial still life! A fabulous snap shot! Simply love it!
    Herzliche GrΓΌsse aus dem PΓ©rigord, dear Judith. Wish you a sunny Sunday,


  4. franhunne4u says:

    This firefighter is female! Elmira, that is her first name – just look!


  5. I love that you make us look at things in a totally different way. Stop and enjoy the things around us and listen to them.


  6. Tina Schell says:

    You’re absolutely right – it’s easy to see once it’s been pointed out!! I’d never have seen it without reading your post tho πŸ™‚


  7. Patti Kuche says:

    Great strength of personality in this shot Judith, yours and the Firefighter’s!


  8. Madhu says:

    Great eye Judith! πŸ™‚


  9. tms says:

    Took me moment, and then I saw him (it) too! And that was before reading the text under the photo. Neat! (I am at a loss when it comes to the Greek concept though … something Platonic maybe? After all, we have an idea, a mental prototype of the firefighter that allows us to see “it” here…?)
    And – by the way – I fully agree with the Tin Man!


  10. Touch2Touch says:

    Well, now I am doubly happy! Thank you.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if quidditas had some connection with Thomas Aquinas. If I had a better connection with him myself, I could be surer.
    But this idea has been a key one for me for many many decades. The “thatness”, the essential, what something is in its essence. Oddly enough, I’ve never thought of it as Platonic, although you can certainly make a case that it is. But when push comes to shove, I’m more mystical than philosophical.
    One way or another, glad you managed to meet the Firefighter!


  11. I love the new perception you have offered me for the old fire hydrant. What a beautiful, strong new view. I just looked out the window at the one we have in the side of our yard. I am smiling at it now.


  12. 2e0mca says:

    Nice idea Judith – With a firestation just 400yds from me I’m very aware of the heroes that live there πŸ™‚ Those hydrants always make me think of the men and women who consistently risk their lives fighting fires on our behalf. It’s all to easy to forget them when the press, government, military are all shouting about battles being fought elsewhere but the guys who use these hydants fight daily battles on our own doorstep with little acclaim. Good Post.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Absolutely right on, Martin.
      I guess I’ve also always thought of firefighters as heroic.
      We lived near a fire station a long time ago, and whenever the sirens went off, if the fire was nearby my sisters and I would scoot out there and watch. (We lived in a residential suburb where we were lucky enough never to have a really devastating fire.) The guys were all volunteers, and I really thought that was over the top in community service. Still do!


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