I am going back to basics.
I need to. I’m out of gas. I need to count journaling as part of my output, because the story ideas are coming to me like normal, the output just sucks. So, I’m going back to where it started. Just writing. Writing about whatever is on my mind.
Not everything, though. I mean, I’ll spare you the dream about the horny legless midget surrounded by Chinese people who are assembling cellular phones. That was a weird one. Right up there with being in sun-god robes and having scantily clad women throwing little pickles at me. I can write about that later.
What I want to write about it a photo that a friend of mine took. It truly is an awesome photo. She wanted me to write my review of it at her deviantART site, and I still will, but for now, this review is mine. I’m going to ask her permission before I post anything, though. (note – she gave it)
First of all, she is a great photographer. I don’t care what anyone says. I’m not much of one myself, so when I tell you that she has an eye for it, consider that the opinion is coming from a guy who doesn’t know much about photography other than what he likes. And her photos, I tend to like. I can read them like a good short story. Maybe they are not always the words that she has in mind when she is taking the pictures, but they always, always have a story for me. And I like a good story.
She does justice to abandoned houses. She gives them the dignity that they deserve. And when she shows those pictures, I think that she is trying to tell me that to be thankful for what I’ve got, because it is only because of either good luck or someone’s good graces, that the house is not mine and the past owner of it is not me. I think she imbues the houses with energy and lets it release it’s history.
For example, there is one photo that I really like. I think I’ve come to think of it as “Prayer on Easter For The Slothful”.
When I look at it I see the chair, all tattered and torn. It’s life has been tough. What can be tough on a chair? Someone sitting on it all the time. And I mean all the time. And sat on by a fat man.
An obscenely fat man. The kind of fat that is bulbous and sad. The kind of fat that a man could look down at and hate like his worst enemy. There is a saying that if you wait by the edge of the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy go floating on by. But the fat man who lived in that chair, if he ever thought that, he would be contemplating his own death, which would lead to more hate. And then he would lose track of who he was hating. Then he would just be seething.
And a symbol of the fat man’s slothfulness, in my weak eyes, is the Coke can just behind and to the right of the chair. It is really shiny and the red of the Coke can has faded to gold. I see it as a bauble of excess, but then again, I’ve never been much of a Coke drinker. Though, of late, I have become a big fan of Red Bull and it’s much cheaper and equally effective little brother Red Rain.
But, leaned carefully on the right arm of the chair, is a ladder. No one dropped it there to get it out of the way. The chair, while worn, does not look like it ever had been intentionally damaged. The chair is a mummy removed from it’s sarcophagus, it’s eons-old tatterred burial shrouds hanging from old, thin bones. But the chair is also a sarcophagus – a carving that is representative of the unseen soul that once occupied it. It fills a dual role.
And despite the grim imagery that I am depicting, the picture is full of light. As a matter of fact, if someone were to argue about symmetry in the picture, and claim that the chair is not in the middle, they would be right. The light is the centre of the photo and the darkness surrounds it. And the last rung of the ladder is almost in the centre.
So, despite my rampant atheism, I can still appreciate religious symbolism, and I can see it in this photo. The light, the centre of the photo, is the light of God. The ladder, is Jacob’s ladder, leading up to heaven.
Now, Jacob’s ladder represents different things across the various Christian faiths. This one, in my eyes, has the same dual role as the chair. On one hand, it represents a ladder that the soul climbs through the virtues towards salvation and on the other hand it represents the souls journey towards the light of God. It can also represent the ladder that Christ took up to heaven, which in turn, represents Christ, because he can be seen, within the context of Christian myth, as a bridge between heaven and earth.
I really could go on about this photo at a ridiculous length because of all that I see in it but this is enough for me for now.
I think that this is a good start to how I am going to write all of this week. Just start with one thing that was on my mind and take it from there.
I am going back to basics.