Scenes from a Neighbourhood

Every day I sit down at the desk that is located in the front room, perfectly positioned for looking out onto the busy street.

Every now and again, as I lift my head from my emails, I notice a hearse carrying a coffin slowly make its way to the graveyard near my house.

Sometimes there is a car or two following, rarely more than three. Often it is just a lonely hearse, carrying a lonely coffin with a lonely dead person inside.

Sometimes, adoring the coffin’s side, is the relation of the deceased to the mourners spelled out in flowers.

I watch it go past and then I go back to my work.

Taken using a Pentax S1a 35mm camera with Lomography Lady Grey 400 (Fomopan) film and developed by hand and then scanned into a computer. If reused please credit the author.

How Literature Speaks Through the Ages

I cannot recommend the novel Stoner by John Williams enough; not a single word is wasted in creating a life and exploring the passions, loves and failures of an individual throughout that life.  These are the moments that history does not record:

Five days before the marriage took place the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour; and William Stoner watched the ceremony with a mixture of feeling that he had not had before.  Like many others who went through that time, he was gripped by what he could think of only as a numbness, though he knew it was a feeling compounded of emotions so deep and intense that they could not be acknowledged because they could not be lived with.  It was the force of a public tragedy he felt, a horror and a woe so all-pervasive that private tragedies and personal misfortunes were removed to another state of being, yet were intensified by the very vastness in which they took place, as the poignancy of a lone grave might be intensified by a great desert surrounding it.  With a pity that was almost impersonal he watched the sad little ritual of the marriage and was oddly moved by the passive, indifferent beauty of his daughter’s face and by the sullen desperation on the face of the young man.

– From the novel Stoner by John Williams. Published by Vintage, 2012.

The Ending

I know it is coming, and I think about it almost every day.  The door closing, the life ending.  The peace to know that I cannot change a thing and the acceptance to say that I have had a good life: I have lived and I have loved, and in turn I have been loved and lived my life as best I could with others, with my family and friends.  A door is closing, but I am thankful it was ever open at all.

Taken using a Pentax ME Super 35mm camera with Lomography Lady Grey 400 (Fomopan) film and developed by hand and then scanned into a computer. If reused please credit the author.