Capture of a moment

When photos are all you have left. A window into a moment of sheer unadulterated joy. People die you know. They really do. And so how it feels to look at a photograph like this. The the two extremes of emotion, felt together, the elation and the sorrow. It doesn’t even out. No, you feel them both simultaneously. And oh God, I don’t know what that feeling is.


And even Cliff Richard looks down from the telly, some sort of apparition.

And you have to wonder, will she feel that sheer unadulterated joy again, wherever she is? Does she feel anything at all? Or is she just nothing.

I can’t get my head around it.

But I’ll still look at the photo. Look at the moment, as it was, fixed in time. Like that stupid Bernard and his watch programme.

8 thoughts on “Capture of a moment

  1. The only photos I have hanging in my home are of my Uncle and I. So I can relate to the happiness and the sadness that comes with it.

    He is hung by the door as I leave, a constant reminder to be better today than I was yesterday. Some days it works, others it’s sad but it’s better, I think, to have the photographs and memories of the person than nothing at all but the memories.

    For me at least, it makes their existence at one point in time more real, and the sad memories a little more worth all the good ones.

  2. I agree with the commenter above. But who are those people? And which one is you? And you say this, this undadulterated joy thing – clearly something happened that makes yuo feel that…..but what was it, i wonder. Cos when I look at old pix I just feel sorrow and strangeness, questions and distance. Who are those people,..I wonder, even if one of them is me. Was that thing me? And Cliff Richard, I love that….o boy, Cliff Richard. Sounds like a mantra….Cliff Richard…Cliff Richard….Cliff Richard. Maybe I shoud write a poem about him. THen again, maybe not. Here I am, maniac that I am, raving on about, hmm what am I talking about? I just do not know….

    • Hi J, it is my friends I lived with in Uni. I’m the one in the white t-shirt, and in the pink on the left, that’s my friend Abbie who died recently. And this photo, well, it makes me happy to look at it, we went to visit her where she was working, at a boys boarding school in Cheltenham. It was the holidays so we had the run of the place. And I mean, yes, it was just a fun weekend. Of which she should have had more. She was just too young to die.

      • Just terrible R, I am so sorry. Death is one of those things no poem can ever match. No approximation no art. Just nothing. Perhaps the best is the photo, but as I say, I just feel a strange sorrow, as if every person is dying in it. And what is beautiful in your post is how you see it as capturing a beautiful moment in time. I do not feel that, not ever. When I look at photos – and I have in mind a photo where three of the people in the pic were dead within two years – I just see death. Death hanging even around the living. I do not like taking pictures of people really. In fact I do not do that…not really. I travelled all round the world once and all I came back with was….music, books, pictures. But no photos. I am sorry, so sorry, and I know you do not feel it, but one day, maybe tomorrow you will feel it. Reference for once – Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida. One of my favourite books. Read it one day maybe – a powerful mind looking at pictures of his mother after she died – and then, a couple of years later, he was dead too…run over by a laundry truck. So much for a powerful mind I guess….o goodness, what am I talking about, I am so drunk. I love Roland Barthes, such a funny writer, not wise, but clever and funny. Unlike my hero Friedrich Nietzsche, so wise but neither funny nor clever….

  3. But I do know what you mean…yes of course I do. Plus, I just looked at your tags, and see that you will know what I mean.

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