|Mexico City 1969|
When photography started in the first half of the 19th century there was an obsession for the detail that photographs could bring that painting could not.
Some photographers thought that they could capture (a word used in that century many years before the term became a synonym for taking a picture with a digital camera) the moment of death by closely focusing the camera on a dying person’s eyes. All we know through the calculus is that the precise moment, when the spirit/soul leaves the body, cannot be seen except when the asymptote curve hits infinity. You know the person is alive and then dead. The transition will always escape us.
In that 19th century few had the opportunity to gaze at glass plates and when George Eastman brought celluloid into negatives only, at first photographers had that chance.
Now in this Monday January 31, 2022 I am sorting negatives and finding some I had never noticed before as I did not think them important. Rosemary was always at me to photograph the children but never asked me to take her picture. Finding pictures of her now, are not only a novelty, but an obsession that has me crying as I scan the pictures and remove the half a century or more of dust remnants on them.
My friends and even my family might wonder why I torture myself with this process.
Looking at these negatives, scanning them and observing (as in the pictures here) two persons who were alive then and only Alexandra being alive now makes me pause to the idea, that while in bed at night, I have coined for myself the term - the vacant presence, the not there there. But just a few minutes ago I thought of another vacant presence. This is of me having taken these two pictures. I am there but not there.
|Last entry December 4 - Rosemary died December 9|
I keep repeating Joan Didion having said that she wrote to find out what she was thinking. It seems that my actions now reflect that I am doing them to find out what I am feeling and how I am feeling.
Perhaps I will never get over this and in what is left of me to live I see no respite from my grief except the temporary one of distractions.