Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Human Audition

It's dread that's been nagging me. I realized this yesterday morning. A friend told me that his neighbor had a "haymaker heart attack." It dawned on me - that's what's troubling me: boring old death. I knew it had a source in something that was causing me some apprehension of doom. The realization fit. I've been thinking too much about dying suddenly. I don't know why. Turning 50, I guess. Friends start talking to you differently. There are reminders of unpleasant things that I should now begin, medical procedures, things to be cautious and wary of, foods to eat or to avoid. There is no sliding into middle age gracefully. There are ligament strains, the perpetual need to hydrate, and to stretch. I wasn't doing any of that, I was just worrying. At other times in my life I might have written these feelings off as part of the luxury of depression. As a parent you have so few places left to hide. 

Part of it is also CS. He has been my friend for about 35 years now and he was hurt in an accident recently. I have not dealt with it very well. I never do. Other people being sick or injured causes strange reactions in me. I avoid it and them. Someone once suggested that it may be a byproduct of watching my mother die and not being able to do anything at all about it. That makes sense, but still, it bothers me that I don't have a better game face for my friends being hurt or ill. I tend to keep myself from them, which is the opposite of what someone who cares should do. I know. It's not a matter of being a contrarian in everything. It's a matter of fear. 

My favorite photographs and photographers, at least lately on Instagram and elsewhere online, tend to show a world of isolated humans wandering lonely places, often in black and white, blurred in space and time, mere apparitions. There is a sort of singularness to the images that draws me in and fascinates me. Yet, when I look through my own pics I am attracted to fragmented yearnings - my son reaching for affection from his mother. 

These images can be viewed as opposites. Everywhere there is loneliness and yearning - ghosts of people, or fragments of ghosts of people never satiated. All that one believes, they see.


I love these images - forest for the trees, can't see the color for the leaves.