In sunlight, all things we with see with our eyes become monumental, mythic, and haunted by ghosts; both real and imagined.
All things that reach, and grow, whose stillness belies a persistent movement, are fairytales; embodied in skeins and skin. There are princes hidden in the apple trees, and giants in castles above the clouds.
And we are here, outside these dreams, mere mortals, finite in our breathing; or at least that is the illusion we’d have ourselves believe.
And all of this is magic – the atom, the cell, the invisible helix, that Shakespeare of our fate, building players, building stages, beneath that single footlight around which we spin in our spinning.
I am no Roland Barthes, or Susan Sontag. I am not an academic and I am not trained. I only know how I feel and react to my own photographs. I am only qualified to convey how I experience photography – which is merely an abstraction of what I see.
A photograph itself is not important. It is but a re-ignition, a reexamination of the feeling that preceded it. It’s a means of exploration of curiosity. It is also a means of reconciling the heart and the mind. Feeling comes from the heart and seeing comes from the mind. The eye serves the heart as a means of conveyance. It allows something beyond perception to pass through. What does the heart then feel from what the eye can sometimes see?
There is a vast subconscious layer, an invisible unifying mist, in which we experience and process life – apart from thought and logic and time we come to know a truth that is difficult to articulate. I cannot express this even now, but what I do know is that it manifests, despite my inability to communicate it. I both ‘see’ it and feel it, simply by observing and being still. Images and energies combine to create packets of meaning, minor iterations of accumulated understanding that lead, over time, to the water of truth; like a dowser’s wand.
What I see in an image such as this is something more than vaguely human (am I seeing myself?). Am I seeing anything at all? It’s more like hearing. I’m hearing an echo. I’m like a bat emitting sonic pulses in the dark and these images are the readouts. They’re the impressions that come back.
It’s more tactile than visual. I don’t see a photograph like this one as much as I run my fingers over it. There’s a sensuality to it. It is a form of Braille.
I write as if this was magic. As if what I experience is so mysterious and other-worldly that it defies explanation. Maybe you don’t feel what I feel. Maybe you don’t see what I see. Perhaps what is magical and mysterious to me is obvious and mundane to you. But I hope not. I aspire to the level of art; which is the supreme form of relationship. What we call art is a means of relating to each other and a pointer to truth. There is a great truth hidden here. I cannot name it but it’s as powerful as an ocean.
I don’t know what we are. I don’t know what life is. I don’t know what it is I’m looking at here, beyond words – fence, tree, lichen, bark, photograph, reflection, monochromatic image. All I know is what I feel. The vortex of the infinite. A sense, just the barest shimmer, of God. It has to be. Not a man, not a dogma, but the source. No matter what you believe you cannot deny a source, an origin, a cause.
The photographs I love most are impressions of creation itself, the moment when moments began. They contain within them a vestige of inception. I am postulating here. I’m spit-balling. Intuition is just an inspired guess. And this is what my heart is whispering, breathy and wistful like the voice of Orson Welles mouthing Rosebud. And the image curls and blisters as it’s consumed by the flames.
o O o