Judgment Day

Judgment Day

Judgment Day, St Augustine. (Michel Botman Photography, Dec. 31, 2010)

Between Christmas and New Year, I drove up the coast from Fort Lauderdale to St Augustine.

I arrived in St Augustine on New Year’s eve.  The sun was low, the shadows long like the night ahead. I saw a head to toe black and white preacher at the corner of St George and Cathedral, built like a redeemed heavy-weight, giving pamphlets away to anyone passing by. I took a photograph, quickly, instinctively as always. He looked at me over his shoulder and handed me one.

  • “Thank you”, I said, swallowing my “h” with what I thought to be a slight French accent
  • “You are not from here?”, he stated more than asked
  • I said “French” … then remembering the post 9-11 French fries boycott, and fearing reminiscences of his past career, I added at once “French from Belgium – but I live in Canada now”
  • “What is it about”, I added, pointing to the white letters on his T-shirt and the papers in his hands
  • “The end of the world” he said, matter of fact
  • “The end of the world?”
  • “Yes”, he said vaguely startled, as if I should have known. “Six months from now, … on May 21st.”
  • “May 21st?” I repeated, waving the small brochure in a goodbye move.  “I can’t believe it.  The end of the world … and … no one told me.”
  • “What are you going to do about it?”, he asked in a slightly more pressing and sermonizing tone
  • “Well”, I said … “There is this root canal I have been postponing for months, … I’ll make an appointment for the 22nd I guess” … “Just hedging my bets – in case.”

About Michel Botman

Michel Botman was born in Belgium, where visual arts have always flirted with the limits of reality. In the eighties, Michel Botman started exploring the first tools to manipulate images though computers. For about 15 years, Michel Botman worked throughout Europe in the emerging field of Computer Applications for the Graphic Arts. Extensive experience in Digital Imaging allowed Michel to move into the field of computerized systems for Diagnostic Imaging. As VP Sales & Marketing for eSys Medical and later with Eclipsys, Michel Botman always remained dedicated to the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of his career. At the present time, Michel Botman is refocusing his life towards graphic arts. “I studied photography in Europe, but never had time to practice it enough. Life took me on other paths towards computer technologies and running a business. I enjoyed it very much, but I also love art. I always keep my eyes open for exciting opportunities and people that touch my heart.” Michel Botman currently lives between Toronto, Canada and Bangkok, Thailand. Above Gravatar pictures are of Michel Botman and his son Noah Botman.
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