songs for tomorrow
Experiments in absence
I dream of an image to fall in love with.
This man, this man. He walks between darkness and light!
The ground crumbles under feet ...
For dinner at the golf club, no 'jeans'. So, we all wear my dad's clothes, shoes and all.
Inadvertently, my mother gets to look at a version of my dad, two generations younger.
Dinner at the Golf Club
'Their custom was, as soon as they arrived at a certain age, or that
they saw themselves threatened by any disease, to cause a funeral
pile to be erected for them, and on the top a stately bed, where,
after having joyfully feasted their friends and acquaintance, they
laid them down with so great resolution, that fire being applied to
it, they were never seen to stir either hand or foot; and after this
manner, one of them, Calanus by name; expired in the presence of
the whole army of Alexander the Great.'
And not knowing quite what to do, the soldiers blew their trumpets
to mark the occasion.
Maybe the camera is the modern version of a trumpet.
that one hand might touch another ...
Lavender Tree #1 and #2
Robert lives up above Aberglaslyn in North Wales and without electricity;
the wind-up radio brings the French radio station, 'France Bleu'.
Lili 1720 Aged 60 (heart)
A gravestone unique for being of rough slate
and inscribed, presumably by her beloved,
simply with a heart.
Strangely, it started to rain so suddenly
that the negative itself became streaked
Method for preparing paper negatives:
Pre-expose sufficiently to achieve the first
distinguishable shade of grey.
This renders the imperceptible as perceptible.
Can I so nudge the invisible?
It’s no fun if you don’t reply.
Maybe you have only sheets of black paper.
The typewriter was invented in 1801 by Pellegrino Turri for the young
woman he fell in love with, Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano, who
had become blind. This used carbon black paper.
If you type on black paper, the copy can be read.
The photograph is also copy.
To pull apart. This is what happens in old age, with dementia, with the loss of memory, or rather the loss of the connections between memories. Distrahere, dis - apart, trahere - to pull. It is from this that we get the word, distract. 'Unglued', you might say. And the opposite? To glue? Is this what we spend our lives doing?
and my children
A strawberry, reconstructed.
The illusion is not lost. I do not hide
my brush strokes. The black and
white image of a strawberry becomes
red again, by my hand.
As I sit on the train, I am reminded of how it is for a horse.
We are compelled, like a horse, to look at the world sideways.
Blinkers that a man might put on a working horse, I am told, are not
just so that the horse cannot see to the side; it is so that it cannot see
much at all.
So too, we can look around us and realise that we can only look at
those around us sideways.
To meet another, one has to approach not from the front, nor from
behind, but from the side.
Looking at the world, like a horse.
From sound, from vibration that emanates out, from a song, the Universe
comes flowing forth into the great ocean of reality, and so the humble
cow herder can enjoy the pleasure and the passions of reality and relish in
the wonder of creation. (A Hindu idea on creation)
As a wedding present, in China, what art can you give? Not an image of
someone else's happiness; you cannot compare. Not a Venus. A cow then,
rich in nature's delight. We have these in Switzerland, but they are all inside
now for the Winter. In Wales they are still out, but no longer by the
lake side as they are in the summer. I was looking to find one. I find by the
sea or in fields fenced in. In the summer, I see them free by the lake. But
not this time. In the end I take a cow to the lake. I wished it so. The cow
arrives into this reality, out of the song of two birds; the birds themselves
are not of this reality, but of another place. There is another metaphor.
Unlike Botticelli's foamy sea, there is stillness here. Suitable perhaps for
the couple on their marriage day. You might say that as we struggle, we
are in the middle of a lake. At some point when tending someone you
love, you reach the edge of the lake, and you look at each other with such
joy at the stillness.
All photos and text are Copyright (c) 2015 David Linton. All rights reserved.