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writ in water - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
writ in water
We wind up down by the river, sitting quietly, trying to make sense of something that fundamentally doesn't make sense. The mind doesn't want to assimilate it; it's used to the flow of narrative, it doesn't know how to deal with the biggest full stop of all. You can repeat the facts, but they're too big, they just slide off. It's like trying to balance the river on a duck's back.

There are baby moorhens by the riverside, still unsteady on their feet, but alive.

Eventually the accusations creep in: I should have. I could have. I didn't. I thought to myself "I really must". I still didn't. I hardly knew him; what could I have done? Something. Would it have been enough? Probably not. But I should have. I could have. A litany of guilt. There's no sense in blaming myself, but. The wind is rising, and I feel cold, and I feel as though I shouldn't notice. I put my coat on; cold comfort.

So we're there on the riverbank. And the grass is still there, and the river is still there, and when the sun is out the light still sparkles on the water, and the flower that I saw on Sunday, a senseless burst of colour in leaves and still waters, is still there:



all as if nothing had changed. Everything is still there, but I have momentarily forgotten how to make sense of what I see. I can't remember what I am supposed to feel. And the knot of people on the other side of the river are shouting, and from this distance I can't tell if it's an argument or a joke.

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


And we're clinging to each other like the survivors of a shipwreck, watching our emotions ebb and flow like the sunlit waters, and suddenly I don't have any words any more. Because all the should-haves in the world don't give you a second chance; and this one is the only one you get.
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Comments
claerwen From: claerwen Date: September 10th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I was walking by the river too after I heard and I saw this little fish jumping from one side to the other and it made me feel even stranger.

I assumed that I would have time to talk to all the people I've been not talking to and spend time with all the people I've been not spending time with, in just a little while when I have more time. But there isn't any more time. And all today I kept thinking there must be something I ought to be doing about it and wondering what it was, and realising it was too late to "do something". I expected he'd just carry on for a while and there would be a time I could spend time, because usually people do do that.

We all usually go to the pub on Fridays and he often came, so this evening the rest of us are going to someone's flat instead so we can, I don't know, whatever. I don't know whether you know any/many of those people though (Nicolai, pjb1008..?). Anyway call me if you want to join us, 07929 841 860.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 10th, 2004 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
if you want to join us

Thank you for the offer, but I didn't see it in time, & I think I'd've felt out of place anyway among people who knew him that much better. (I do know Nicolai and pjb1008, though.)
juggzy From: juggzy Date: September 10th, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your photographic narratives are excellent. I know that a more critical approach may well prove more constructive in improving them, but the fact is, you have a talent for interpreting the visual through words that I wish I had. Your photographs are good, and the text you put with them really adds to the experience. There are very few people (none as I know, actually) who are doing this. I think you may have found a niche.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 10th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I'm trying not to think "but all the photojournalism in the world won't bring M. back to life", because I really don't think I knew him well enough for that sort of self-indulgent misery. We cry for ourselves first, though.

My photos are blurry and crap, but Alain de Botton gets away with that in The Art of Travel, so I figure I'm doing okay. Though okay he is famous so frankly he can get away with bloody anything. Didn't you just love the way in the ramble-round-Cambridge thing I managed to make a shittily overexposed photo look deliberate? The thing is, when I downloaded it off the camera it was a completely black photo. The only way I could get any detail to come out (I ♥ PhotoShop) was by upping the brightness and dropping the contrast until it looked washed-out and overexposed. But then, I felt overexposed (in the film sense, not the too-few-clothes sense) in that place, so I guess it makes sense.
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