This post is not specifically related to halloween, although I suppose by looking in to the darkness you could consider it on-topic. Well, today was a write-off...it rained torrentially all day, non-stop...so we built a fire, cosied up on the sofa and watched a film. We watched Up. The children had seen it before. I hadn't. And I was not expecting to be reduced to a blubbering wreck within minutes of watching it and then finding myself unable to shake off my morosity for the rest of the day.
It was one of those well-written stories where it talks at one level to children, but the adult messages were so poignant. I was so sad. My youngest tried to reassure me, 'don't worry mummy, they aren't real life'. Why was I feeling so rubbish?...I think the film touches on universal fears we are afraid to think about and by fast forwarding through life, distilling it to its bare essentials, the film makes it difficult for you to ignore them...And that got me thinking about fear and what we're afraid of and whether by recognising and addressing those fears they no longer command a presence. But we're human and such an ask is probably too much. However, perhaps it is something you could explore photographically. I quite like that idea. Perhaps the first step in this instance would be for me to acknowledge the fear of my fears that the film mobilised in me. They are, I warn you, a little morose. They all relate, in part, to the impermanence of life and certainty of death and I am sure are common to many. I fear that:
- I won't know how I will die and if it will be painful and prolonged.
- I may lose a loved one
- I will never know what is after life (while alive at least!)
- I may have regrets
- the years take you towards old-age, deterioration and certain death
- ill-health or bad things may happen to loved ones or myself
- the everyday routines of life may drain the joy of youth away
- quality of life may actually be preferable to quantity
- I'll be old before I know it
- my children may not like me when they grow up
- I may reach old age and feel disappointed with myself
So, a film, ironically with the title Up, made me feel hopelessly down and unexpectedly face my own fears of death...honestly!! I would have been better watching an '18' classified psycho-thriller! I know death has been written about extensively in the context of photography but one cannot ignore the cruel irony and slightly disturbing 'truth' derived from the permanence of a photograph and how it makes a mockery of our own temporarity.
The video footage above was taken in 2006 with what was then a new camera with video capability. It was a 'tester' video, to see how the camera worked...nothing more. Yet now, all three subjects in this video are no longer here. Whilst not wanting to state the bleeding obvious, they are though, right here in this video. I'm not making much sense, but giving this a little thought, I can see that to address the fear of death itself, through photography, could be cathartic. Anyway, I'm not sure how, or if, this is relevant or helpful to my study, certainly not for the moment, but it may be something to consider at some point in the future...given that the subject of 'death' will be relevant forever more, I guess there's no rush!!