In the first light of dawn, in the coastline’s haze, leaning from the steep slope without fear of wind or vertigo, an invisible landscape conditions the visible one. The city outside there has a name, yet we don’t know if it will remain outside or whether its whole story will be contained within the blueprint’s inky blackness. If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance. The city displays one face to the traveler arriving overland and a different one to him who arrives by sea. With cities, it is as if with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Thus, the first secret spot that draws you outside is a stump and board bench on a high terrace overlooking the sea and the bay. With a never-ending view and a stunted tree for shelter, like a bird’s wing to stick your head under, you are hidden. No one knows where you are -- your mother is calling and you are not answering.
The film, a photographer's canvas, begins with a wash of black because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light. In photography, light is the driving force. The eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun and goes into a less fully lighted place will see everything as dark. That's why the eye does see more clearly when asleep than the imagination when awake. Look at walls splashed with a number of stains, or stones of various mixed colors. You will be able to see in these the likeness of divine landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills in great variety; and then again you will see there battles and lively postures of strange figures in violent action, expressions of faces and an infinity of things which you will be able to reduce to their complete and proper forms. In such walls, the same thing happens as in the sound of bells, in whose stroke you may find every named word which you can imagine. If the photographer wishes to see beauties that charm him, it lies in his power to create them, and if he wishes to see monstrosities that are frightful, ridiculous, or truly pitiable, he is Lord and God thereof. The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of. Photography is concerned with all the ten attributes of sight; which are: darkness and light, solidity and color, form and position, distance and propinquity, motion and rest. The photographer who shoots merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies everything placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence. He who can copy can do, but he will produce pictures of little merit if he takes the works of others as his standard. The worst evil which can befall the artist is that his work should appear good in his own eyes. I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have. Art is never completed, only abandoned. Every now and then go away, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail. A master knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add -- but when there is nothing left to take away.
By choosing to live above the ordinary level we create extraordinary problems for ourselves. I am here to live, not to calculate. And that is just what they do not want you to do – to live! They want you to spend your whole life adding up figures. That makes sense to them. That is reasonable. That is intelligent. They die comfortably in their little bed of understanding, to become useful citizens of the world. I pitied them, and in short order, I deserted them one by one, without the slightest regret. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. Everyone has his own reality in which, if one is not too cautious, timid or frightened, one swims. This is the only reality there is. And a night comes when all is over, when so many jaws have closed upon us that we no longer have the strength to stand, and our meat hangs upon our bodies -- as though it had been masticated by every mouth.
Bare feet and bare soul, I think I’ll keep walking ‘til I don’t feel so alone. How is it that the mind can wander even when there’s nowhere to go? Asphalt might seem rough to some, but to me, it is the grating pain that reminds me I’m alive. A pebble to the heel is as exquisite as a sharp knife. I stop for a moment and remind myself to take it all in. The ethereal valley before me is surely a charming viridescent hue, how is it I see only in grays? They say that when one of our senses is weakened another is heightened. This must be true because I am so acutely aware of the silence that I’m sure I could hear the wind, were it ever to decide to blow again. How I ache for a morning Zephyr to kiss my hollow cheek. I wonder how many, if any, feet have touched the same spot on which I stand. How many have been lost on their journey and found themselves in this wanderer's land? ~ Francesca
They say life is a highway and we all travel our own roads, some good, some bad, yet each is a blessing of its own.'Loneliness has been good to me' is playing on my personal radio. I guess it was the beatings that made me wise - initiating my spiritual pilgrimage - looking for something, somewhere, anywhere here. To drive, not to be driven. It is not my mission in life to be a passenger. Before I could only do left turns. Now, the road makes a noise all its own. It is a single note that stretches in all directions, low and nearly inaudible. It is very louring here, and the moon flashed and flickered behind the tall trees. The best way I can think to describe it is the way when you are driving on the roadway at night how everyone can see the moon in their window. Every car feels the moon is following that car, even in the other direction, right? Everyone in that entire hemisphere can see the moon and think it is there for them, is following where they go. Don’t be afraid of an endless road, but the road with an end. The road is a word, only corners joined together, conceived elsewhere and laid across the country in the wound prepared for it; a word made concrete and thrust among us. One reaches a destination by driving on that road, not by laying back to enjoy the view -- that is how life works.
The moon rests en utero waiting for her to release the night. Dusk hangs heavy and exhausted long beyond time for the day’s retirement. She lingers in purgatory between ambivalence and confidence, only willing to liberate twilight when her powers feel strong and her courage is high. She makes her choice carefully. It must be an unfailing ride to ferry her into the depths of darkness, for it’s there that broken souls step out of their own hell and find solace in the crowded shadows. She wraps herself tightly in her coat and contemplates the pounding in her chest. It is not fear, but anticipation. Longing to reach the place where she’ll find peace in opaque dreams. Hidden from the prying eyes of those that would judge her. Removed from the tight grasp of those that would tame her. She turns the wheel to her lunar guide and blossoms like the moonflower in eventide. ~ Francesca
Of all the girls in there she needed the money most; maybe her mother had come to get money from her for her little sisters and brothers. I think that’s the real loss of innocence: the first time you glimpse the boundaries that will limit your potential. The flesh covers the bone and they put a mind in there and sometimes a soul, people keep crawling in and out of beds. There’s no chance at all: we are all trapped by a singular fate. Soy Susannah – I never can say 'No', but I know how to spell 'Baby'. I never cry, cause my tears will never dry. Soy Susannah - scratched is my soul, lifeless are my eyes. Passionate are my lips that never kiss. Soy Susannah - the silence is in my body, too young when I turned from girl to woman. I don’t wear a crucifix, as it will not suit me and burn my skin. Soy Susannah - I wear the marks of all the men who taxi-girl me. On my arm. In my heart. Sadness, beauty, and isolation. All in one place. All in one face. Soy Susannah - the photographer’s muse, because at the bottom of every frozen heart there is a drop or two of love -- just enough to feed the birds.
The misty afternoon sunk into the tall grass growing on the roadside. An angel's face showing up at the crossroad. Could ya give me a lift, Mista? Cicciolina came from Sicil-y, hitchhiked her way across Ital-y. Hauling her case, thumbin’ a ride. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules. Time for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water. As for you girls, you must risk everything for freedom, and give everything for passion, loving everything that your hearts and your bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination. You may call her a tramp, a gypsy, but it goes deeper than that. She's not looking for anything. She's not aimless. It's just that her aims are different from most. No longer to be poisoned by civilization she flees and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. And home she wrote: Dear Mom, I've hitchhiked to eternity. I shall not return -- don't be mad.
In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects. Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are. To us, the difference between the photographer as an individual eye and the photographer as an objective recorder seems fundamental, the difference often regarded, mistakenly, as separating photography as art from photography as a document. The photographer was thought to be an acute but non-interfering observer – a scribe, not a poet. But as people quickly discovered that nobody takes the same picture of the same thing, the supposition that cameras furnish an impersonal, objective image yielded to the fact that photographs are evidence not only of what’s there but of what an individual sees, not just a record but an evaluation of the world. It became clear that there was not just a simple activity called seeing - recorded by, aided by cameras -- but ‘photographic seeing’.
She's rich and she commands a room with her body beautiful persona. She wants a photograph and accepts only the best. The best will deliver envious perfection. We all know that the photograph has a purpose, it has to be truthful, honest. "Portray the generic beauty of my perfect life," she demands. Photographer: Reveal the truth, be unimportant, unseeing and empty like the soul of this trophy wife. She lets him in, reveals herself and the photographic eye sees she has a soul searching complexity. He waits and watches. The photographer senses a beautiful honesty in this broken dynamic and he senses that today she is not a discarded and forgotten trophy. He waits for the lonely place in her heart to find it. They talk, laugh, they forget about the camera so he doesn’t need to dissolve, he can use a flash and she won’t notice it, they are too engrossed in each other. They drop their personas for this moment of picture taking. They play, they talk. "Show me your beautiful eyes," he says and she laughs, tempted. The photographic eye senses it and waits for that perfect moment and he takes it, the heart, and immediately the truth becomes immortalized leaving her to return to her busy life. ~ Kalahari