before growing too attached to the imagery, beware that this is a post-mortem photograph. unsurprisingly, it’s from the victorian era, which readily embraced the miry arms of feeble death, but with an identical, modern anxiety that has spanned all of mans clumsy life, for richer or for poorer. we are life and we’re married to death. and death does appear so mediocre, we see it peeking by hospital beds and sitting on chests, waiting for blood tests in filthy chairs, in the black eyes of the unforgettable.
with that sinking knowledge, her woeful expression might make more sense. a candle in a nightmare room. the swollen eyes don’t portray the living love of a mother employed full-time to her rosy babe, but rather the rip that love has made. a tear that can’t be seamed. the hand that has reached inside of her, through her, and took something out. something that will always be missing. her face is a funeral banner for eternal loss. as a mother, my heart collapses for her.
i use this photograph as a reference point for the short story i’m attempting to put together for an anthology that a small publishing company is looking for. i don’t even remember how i found out about it. it’s a strange concept of a ‘mountain pass’ cowboy/western and honestly, not one i’d usually think to contribute to (i love westerns, but mountain passes?) then i remembered the above photograph, a few paragraphs came to me. i’ve decided to post a little bit of it here. because it’ll either be rejected (like all of my work.) and because maybe it’ll shove me into finishing it.
ACROSS LOTS – (excerpt)