Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pictures Of Me

Pictures of you, pictures of me
Hung upon your wall for all the world to see
Pictures of you, pictures of me,
Remind us all of what we used to be

- Pictures Of You, The Last Goodnight

This one's about photos.

Over the months, I've taken a lot of photos - of scenery, of buildings and streets, of people and sometimes even of me. On the bus from Granada to Corboda, I've been thinking about the reasons why I keep snapping away. 

One reason is so I can have something pretty for my laptop wallpaper; and I DO have an awesome set of wallpaper pics now. I keep changing from the Alhambra to the Rose Valley to Tintern Abbey, to the Aya Sophia to the Cinque Terre to.... you get the idea. Currently, it's one from the balcony of the Generalife in the Alhambra, overlooking the Nasrid Palace and the Albayzin.

Another reason is for physical proof that I've been in these places. I've got notions that, way in the future, I'll be cranking up the old laptop and showing the hypothetical grandkiddies where grandpa went when he went mad and needed six months abroad for soul-searching. I'll be showing them pictures of Venice before it sank back into the lagoon, and they'll roll their eyes and say "whatever". 

The third reason, and perhaps the most sensitively poignant, is that it's the easiest way to establish a connection to these places. You see something majestic, or beautiful, or something that's a high-point in human civilisation, and you don't want to walk away. You want to take something back with you, to leave your mark, to connect with these places and not forget about them after a few months back home. And picture taking is the easiest way of doing this. One click, and you've frozen a vista that you've seen with your own two eyes. 

But photos never capture the immediacy of the moment. There's not a photo that details the sound my feet made when I crunched into freshly-fallen snow in Sarajevo. There's not one that recreates the sense of awe I felt as I stepped into the vastness of the dome in the Aya Sophia, nor one that shows the way that shafts of light punctured the dusty air of St Peter's Basilica. There's no way of recording the eeire stillness of the Rose Valley in Cappadocia, nor the sound of the fountains in the gardens of the Generalife in the Alhambra. 

And there's nothing but my memory to remember the chill of the waters off Dubrovnik, the blackness of the sea and the sky, the howl of the wind and the recklessness of drunken idiots squatting on the rocks. I think a lot about that night, but there's nothing left which reminds me of what happened. It's just me and my memory, and even that will fade as the weeks and months roll on. 

So really, it's kind of pointless. And depressing.

Still, it's my first day in Cordoba, and I shouldn't spend it typing in the dorm. Gotta step out and get me some photos of the Mezquita while it's open. It's one of the grandest buildings in all of Spain, doncha know. And I can always do with more wallpaper pics. 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

you need them for the slideshow

Your brother.

7amkickoff said...

You should post them here.

Your Blogger

Connolly's agent said...

Why are people so damn sensible?