Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evolution . . .

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Three photos from the previously mentioned trip to Haiti in 1997.
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In a small book I put together shortly after the trip, this photo was given the caption :
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Holding Pattern
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In Jacmel, on the southern coast
A boat was washed up into a street in a storm
No doubt in one of the hurricanes
That sometimes lash those shores
There was no reason to move it
So it stayed
People passing by
Pay it little notice . . .
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"Old man look at my life, I'm alot like you were . . .
I'm all alone at last . . ." (Neil Young)
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From a child, to a woman, to an old man
The stages of life, and all the world's a stage
Evolution in a series of photos
There are those who would deny
Who would deny evolution
Preferring to believe
In miracles
But I know
The clock is ticking . . .
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25 comments:

louciao said...

The starkly textured beauty of these black and white photographs reveals the resignation, absurdity, and ultimate humanity of hearts that go on beating against all odds.

Owen said...

Good morning... err, good evening Lynne... you get the earliest of the early bird awards, or the late night blogger award, whichever... and even early birds have beating hearts... ah yes, the heart that beats against all odds... and some people are still trying to figure out just how the heart beats ; one of medicine's remaining great mysteries. Man has learned how to tinker with the heart, to shock it back into activity at times when it has tried to go to sleep at the switch, but the real blueprint and code for the heart's magic have yet to be deciphered, though some of man's mightiest microscopes and 3D super-computer modeling are working at the task as we speak... From whence then the spark that lights the fire in our heart ? What are the odds we'll ever know ?

Greetings to all you Vancouverines out there...

louciao said...

I think Celine Dion, in some of her lyrics and chest-pounding performances, has the answers to at least a few of the questions concerning the human heart that you pose here. (this is written in ironic script in case you can't tell!)

And we are, by the way, Vancourites. The Vancouverines are the fur-covered variety of west coast dwellers. :D

Steve said...

Love the shot of the boat - very Close Encounters!

Martin H. said...

Very nice sequence of photographs Owen. The last picture tells a story all of its own.

Lydia said...

I was very touched by each of these shots, the first one being my favorite. And I must say that the exchange of comments between you and louciao are worthy of a separate post!

joo said...

The clock is ticking....time is passing, life is changing. Beautiful photos, striking!

French Fancy said...

Oh Owen, that last photo was so poignant - the little crooked man trying to stand so straight, in front of the memorial - it made me quite emotional. Lovely words as well.

Susan said...

I agree with French Fancy - that last photo is wonderful. It's great in back and white - there is just so much meaning in the images - could look at that one for a long time. Youth/age; black/white; life/death; concrete/foliage; rising/folding.

Jill said...

an invisible weight pressing down on all their shoulders.
photo of the boy is my favorite...He can go up or he can go down, but it's the same circumstance in either direction - in which case, you can only rise up internally, if you have the intention and the strength.

TechnoBabe said...

Yes, the clock is ticking and we are scrambling to see and live as much as we can while we are able. Your photos contribute to my "seeing" and "hearing" as much as I can.

Roxana said...

a rather bleak post for the joyous magic lantern show? autumn melancholia has struck even here? these black and white pictures, with their cruel yet tender and alert attention to details, what a perfect illustration of the vanitas theme...

jeff said...

Trois magnifiques N/B...B/W...!
This just only monsieur qui with cet to pass, just à side of him, seems the very only ! Nice picture !... Tu vois le désastre quand je confie mon texte à mon traducteur ! ! ! C'est terribeul !

Ciao amigo...!
Petit commentaire ce soir !...;-)
Amitiés !...;-)

Ann said...

black and white...would have lost it's "magnitude" in color.
your photography and words are awesome..knocks the dustbunnies off my brain everytime I visit.
Thank you!!

Owen said...

Hi Ann, It is a pleasure to have you visit, most assuredly. I guess the question we need to explore though, is where are those dustbunnies on the brain coming from in the first place ?!? Or are cerebral dustbunnies an inevitable byproduct of modern life ? We get inundated with so much information in any given day...

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Ah Jeff, ce n'est pas facile, la terribull vie entre deux langues, le palais, des molaires, et le larynx au bout du gouffre... mais bon, faut faire ce que l'on peut avec les moyens que l'on a dans ce bas monde, n'est-ce pas, ce beau monde, le meilleur de mondes possibles, n'est-ce pas ? A très bientôt, le boulot me pompe encore cette semaine... mais bon, ch'suis là... debout encore... même si un peu chancellant, titubant... mais debout...
:-D

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Bonjour Roxana... a bleak post for a Bleak House ? Not so bleak, just a look back at some people and places I found extraordinarily touching at the time, and they still reach out to touch across the intervening years. But no, no melancholia (and how, anyway, could anyone who has seen your latest kaleidoscope post be melancholy ???) Vanitas indeed... Haiti is a study in vanitas, and in vanity... I see Haiti as sort of a thermometer for the world... as places like Haiti go, so goes the whole world... and for most of the past century, the world has pretty much stood by and watched as Haiti went to the dogs, so to speak. I want to hope there is hope. Hope for all of us... if enough of us pull together to create magic and art and love and life... perhaps the darker forces of greed and vanity etc ad nauseum can be overcome... I want to hope that there is hope...

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Dear TechnoB, indeed, indeed, while we can... thank you so much, you made me think of a line from that lovely song by Elton John from way back when... something to the effect of : "It's for people like you that I keep it turned on"...

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Hi Jill, for sure... and I hope he had the strength to rise up. I wonder where that young boy is today, guess he'd be nearing 20 if he is still with us. Mortality, or survival I should say, in Haiti is an uncertain business. Health care is in a sad state there... again, we can hope...

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Susan... thank you so much... I was looking at your page earlier today, fascinating material. Until I went to Haiti I'd never heard of the Arawak Indian tribe which pretty much vanished after the arrival of Europeans... but I guess they were related way back to Mayans ?

Owen said...

Louciao, are you sure they are not Vancouverynxes ? Or even Vancouverettes ? Vancouverites sounds like something that dropped out of the sky... Will have to listen to some chest pounding Celine Dion, am not so familiar with her work... And thanks for clueing me in to the existence of "ironic" script text... sort of like poems in iambic pentameter ? And does "ironic" script tend to rust ???
:-D

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Steve, yeah, you definitely would not have wanted to be standing there when the UFO let the boat fall back to Earth there after carrying it up into the upper atmosphere to test its capacity for space travel and re-entry...

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Hi Martin, for sure, a long story, I wonder what this old gentleman had seen in the course of his life in Haiti, and what stories he could have told us if only someone had asked...

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Hey Lydia, thank you ! And we'll have to see what Louciao Mad Lynne thinks; when she gets warmed up to her best form, it's not just a separate and dedicated post that would be needed, but maybe a whole new blog, she is in a rare dimension seen by few, known as the Lynne Zone, and I would highly recommend to anyone reading this to go look at her blogs and website, an intense artist, an intense writer, a wicked sense of humor, a philosopher's stone in her purse, a soulometer in her black satchel... all I can say is she is wonderful company on this voyage through the blogosphere... do drop by her place and say hello...

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Hello Joo, always happy when I see Poland pop up in the traffic flag gizmo and realize you've been around... keep the Haiku coming...

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Dear French Fancy... a hundred glistening thank yous... The old man gets me every time, with his two canes and hat and will to keep walking, one foot in front of the other... breathing...

louciao said...

"ironic script tend to rust"? LOL!

I'm now going to write this in whispering script, Owen, because I don't want to offend anyone but.. I suggest you don't listen to Celine Dion. That's why I wrote about her music in ironic script in the first place!

Watch out for Vancouverites falling from the blog sky!

karine said...

bonsoir owen
ces photos sont belles mais tristes !
que faisais-tu à haiti ?
belle soirée owen
kiss XXX

Owen said...

Louc... I think I'll get my big umbrella out ! And ear plugs...

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Bonjour Karine,
Merci bcp... on est allé en Haiti rendre visite à ma belle-soeur qui travaillait à l'époque avec un homme qui tournait des films documentaires sur certains aspects de la vie en Haiti... situation politique par la suite de l'élection d'Aristide, puis le départ d'Aristide, le rôle des Nations Unies en Haiti, la situation autour des entreprises américaines qui faisait faire des marchandises dans des "sweatshops" haitiens, par exemple. Ses films étaient produits par la société Crowing Rooster Arts, certains sont passés à la télévision aux US. Nous, on est allé en touristes, mais il y avait très peu de touristes à l'époque, encore moins à présent j'ai cru comprendre. Le pays et peuple sont maginifiques; mais c'est un cauchemar sur pas mal de plans, et oui, malheureusement, bcp de tristesse dans l'air. On n'a vu que très peu d'ailleurs, autour de Port-au-Prince, Petionville, Kenscoff, puis quelques jours à Jacmel. J'aimerais bcp retourner, voyager dans le nord, voir le Citadel, voyager jusqu'au points ouest nord et sud... c'est un paradis pour les photographes...

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Bonjour Owen Le bel ami de photos, et oui l'horloge fait tic tac, mais l'I mon ami ont trouvé une manière de danser mes jours partis ! Un jour au-dessus de dîner je te dirai la magie ! Ami d'acclamations ! Week-end heureux. Harry

AB said...

The picture of the boy works really well -- the pose, the expression, the way he is higlighted by the washed out colours behind him.

cieldequimper said...

Ce sont des photos intemporelles j'ai l'impression. Elles sont très belles et mélancoliques.

robert said...

alone
but not alone
the sun - the moon

Returning eachother into the circle of life.

A wonderful Sunday for you !

The Sagittarian said...

Yep, that last photo is wonderful. I had a visit to an old cemetery myself this weekend, still debating over whether or not to post pix...

Owen said...

Hi Saj, well I'm so late seeing this it's not even funny... but I guess we know the answer now... you posted them, and they were great !

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Robert, I love these short pieces of poetry you do... really perfect ! Many thanks indeed mein freund...

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Ciel ! Intemporelles images ? Je l'espère... je suppose que nous souhaitons tous être en souvenir de quelqu'un pour quelquechose... si plus tard (bien plus tard j'espère) on se souvient de moi pour une image... je serais content... Merci en tout cas pour ces mots d'une gentillesse qui me touche...

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Hi AB, many thanks, glad you enjoyed seeing that, for me the boy represents the future of Haiti, may he be able to build something better than what was there then...

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Hey Harry ! A hundred thousand thanks, and yes, over dinner someday it would be great to kick this stuff around a bit, washed down with a fine bottle of wine...
Cheers !