Photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks. All possibility of understanding is rooted in the ability to say no.
* Only that which narrates can make us understand. (Susan Sontag)
Fig. 1. Caspar David Friedrich - Evening Landscape With Two Men, c. 1830-35
To be unexpectedly (and suddenly) abandoned by a long-standing friend is not only the pinnacle of cruelty, it is also the ultimate act of kindness: one for which so few of us, in our abject, self-pitying grief, are capable of giving thanks - as we should.
Fig. 1. Alexander Calder - Calder's Circus (Lion and Cage), 1926-31
She told me the best of stories about the worst of things. Not from a book, but from memory. Sometimes I would ask to hear a story again, simply to see of she could tell it exactly the same way twice. Well, she could - and not just twice! ... Now that she is gone, just once would do. I wouldn't be listening to catch her out, but, rather, to catch myself in the act of listening to a tale only my grandmother could tell.
Touching - be it verbally or bodily - is a dangerous business. Done in the right manner, and at the right time, it is a caressing, seductive zephyr: done in the wrong way, and at the wrong time, it is a barbarous, bond-shattering gust. … Intimacy is correspondence by other means. It challenges us to know more than simply how to conjure closeness. It also requires us (as Julia Kristeva has wisely observed) to '[know] how to handle distances'.
Fig. 1. Diane Cook - Little Red Lighthouse - Fort Washington Park, Manhattan, 2002
I am less interested in how one locates oneself in a city than in how one locates a city within oneself. ... For the traveller willing to be seduced, a new city is not only an affair of the mind (all that remembering) and body (all that perambulating), but also an affair of the heart. We leave the cities we love as reluctantly as we leave the beds of our beloveds. We leave the cities where we have loved (albeit briefly), and been loved (albeit badly), even more reluctantly.
Fig. 1. Andi Domke - Ausgestopftes Meerschweinchen auf Rollbrett (Stuffed Guinea Pig On A Skateboard), 2009.
We can’t always be worthy of our opportunities. We should, however, always strive to be worthy of our gifts, no matter how great or small, because it is from these that we derive our fundamental - and, yes, final - greatness or smallness. In truth, I wish I’d been granted more gifts and fewer opportunities. Too late … too late.
A lover becomes a lover long before obtaining, or even locating, the object of his or her desire. Lovers are created (or, rather, create themselves, and each other) the instant they affix a name or image to their latent impulses, which would otherwise have remained worryingly anonymous - and, perhaps worse, perennially amorphous. These names and images are potent aphrodisiacs, as well as the first warning a lover receives that their desire, no matter how precisely objectified or labelled, will always exceed its objects. ... Unsurprisingly, lovers routinely ignore this niggling augury.
Fig. 1. Giulio Romano - Fall of the Giants (Sala dei Giganti), 1526-34
The problem with always putting the very smallest of your problems under the microscope is that the very biggest of your problems will eventually follow suit, undergoing a far more terrifying - and paralysing - magnification.
Addendum (click):Jack and the Beanstalk, 1933 (ComiColour, Celebrity Productions)