January 1, 2015

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.