I never talk about what I’m grateful for in life. If someone puts me on the spot to answer, within myself, I sense resistance to putting it into words. It’s like how some cultures believed photography can steal their souls. Language, or any system of representation like photography, is a tool to represent what is not there. Words or photos therefore have the effect of reminding us of what is lacking in them. Even in situations where the thing or the person we described in words or in photographs still happens to be there, they remind us of the possibility of disappearance, lack, or loss. This is partly why we take pictures of our joyous moments. As we experience the joy, we are already worrying about the end or the loss of that joy, and this worry can prevent us from fully enjoying that moment. In this sense, language or photography, if used in a certain way, can steal your soul.
THOUGHTS IN PROGRESS
April 17, 2013
A friend on Facebook posted this quote:
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
― André Gide
I don’t know who Gide is but I think this is quite true. The only thing I would differ on is that it wasn’t really a matter of not “listening”. There are two different kinds of knowledge in life: one type allows us to build on the knowledge of others (technical knowledge like math, science, etc..), but the other type doesn’t (like philosophy and art). We all have to acquire it from scratch on our own. There are no shortcuts. So, ultimately in art, we are just repeating the same things that have already been said million times before, but in our own ways, for our own times.
©2013 Dyske Suematsu, All Rights Reserved.