Monday, April 9, 2007

fragile, fleeting images

Some things to remember when looking for the grandfather: View the world around you as if filmed with a Zeiss Ikon-Zeitlupe Model 2 35 mm. movie camera. The erratic images will hop and skid, and there will be a whirring noise that evokes nights in the dark living room, gathered before the hovering ghosts of our disappeared selves. The film will break, and we will all sigh, and wait as the grandfather repairs the film with the patience of the criminal litigator trapping his prey in the net of legal linguistics.

Each moment of your life will be framed through a dim viewfinder, upside down, and you will suddenly see the reflected contents of your circumscribed world limned in the harsh lines of light and shadow. Through the viewfinder, some aspects of your life will gain startling prominence, others will fade into meaningless shapes of enveloping shadows. Don’t forget to meter the light. Always meter the light, for if you do not, you will be drawn into dark situations that cannot possibly appear later as indelibly as the eidetic impression of a firm kiss.

Sit in quiet apprehension before the rattling whir of the projector. Watch the edges of the film rasp against the frame--it makes you acutely aware that the film will doubtless break again; thus you will call forth the most exacting attention, perched as you are on the uncomfortable edge of the knowledge that all moments are fragile, fleeting, disappearing. There is only so much repair possible before these images are lost forever, before the emulsion rots into powdery flakes. Hold your breath, listen, and watch.