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Friday, January 05, 2007

A Photograph...

is not enough.
* * *

Last night (or, to be accurate, in the deep, dark silent hours before the dawn), I felt a craving to look at my photographs of her...again. Believe me, I try (oh, how I try!) not to do that. Like some desperate addict, I vow, time and again, to stop doing that. Only to succumb…again and again and again.

Am I a closet masochist? Or…like a man with a needle in his arm…
just someone with a death wish?

I don’t have all that many photographs of Amazing Woman. Just a handful, actually. They’ve become precious to me.

They’re all I have left.

So I sit in the dark and dead of night and I stare at her image. I study her face, her eyes, her mouth, her hands, her arms and thighs and breasts and hair and ears and knees and…well…everything that can be seen.

And all that can be imagined.

A photograph is not enough. A two-dimensional image on a sheet of paper or a flickering monitor does not breathe. It does not laugh or sigh or touch or dance. A photograph can’t tell me how she feels, how she fares, how she loves, or how she dreams. Her eyes are open, glistening, but she is blind to me. Her hands…the hands I loved so much…so strong, so open and inviting, cannot touch me. I can’t feel her hair on my chest, her warmth, her kisses, or her passion. Her image is right there. Right there on a piece of paper…but she’s not here. She will never again be here, in my arms, in my bed, in my home or my life.

I stare at each photograph for hours. She has the most expressive, exquisite face…as changeable and deep as the sea. And all I have are scant moments, split seconds frozen in time…immutable and pale in comparison. She is beautiful, radiant. She hums with an internal fire that once set me ablaze…(and reduced me to ash). My photographs are silent. They are cool to the touch. Still, they are all I have of her…what more can I do but hold them close to my heart?

And cry.

And I vow never to look at them again. But I do. Again and again and again and again.

* * *

A photograph is not enough. A photograph is not a soul. Each photograph is a distant memory, an image doomed to fade and vanish…a lifeless, ephemeral aggregation of pixels or dyes. Still...
her photographs are all I have. So I press them close to my heart.

And I cry.

* * *

15 Comments:

Blogger Amaris said...

A photograph cannot bring someone back. I know this. You know this. But how are the memories that come with the photographs a bad thing? You say that a photograph cannot revive the physicality of the person you desire. But they give you the memories of the times you had together. Sometimes the photograph even brings back the weight of a hand caressing your forehead, the scent that lingered after an embrace, the peace you felt in their presence... and so you return to the past that was and will forever be yours. It doesn't have to be haunting.

One should never regret love.

Mon Jan 08, 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Ah, my little Starboard Heart, you'll get no argument from me. I'll never regret the loving. Only the losing. And when the love is of the once in a lifetime variety...well, the pain of losing lasts a lifetime, too.

Mon Jan 08, 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Sally-Sal said...

That was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read.

I feel that real love never dies. It lives on in the memories of those we love and the lives we've touched.

Mon Jan 08, 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you Sally-Sal! Feel free to drop by any time to offer compliments (...just kidding about the last part).

Mon Jan 08, 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger roadsofstone said...

I read your post, and it's not easy to give it justice in a simple comment.

The circumstances of your grief are hard, I know, and the sense of betrayal and abandonment you convey is simply stifling. But I can understand that fascination with images entirely, just as I can relate to the experience you describe of being wrenched abruptly backwards immediately after you've started going forwards.

Grief is so reluctant to let go, and even worse, it's so hard to let go of grief even when you fight it.

If it's any comfort, and I hope it is, then my perception is that perhaps it doesn't ever truly let go or fade away completely, however far you might move on.

Instead, it stays buried deep inside, and you simply absorb it and assimilate it. Maybe grief itself makes you stronger exactly because it is so debilitating.

Perhaps if anything is clear from those images, it's that you don't want to forget. So carry those images with you. You've earned that right - you bloody have.

I'm enjoying your writing, even if 'enjoying' is not always the right word.

Keep going.
- Roads

Tue Jan 09, 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sally-Sal said...

People don't often experience the kind of love that you have.

I think it's beautiful, and it gives hope that the special person of our heart is out there.


I know a lot of love stories that start with "she was the kind of woman to eat hormel chili right out of the can"... Well, maybe not a lot :P

Tue Jan 09, 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Roads. I always appreciate getting your perspective on...well...pretty much everything.

You're right, of course - I don't want to forget. And I'm reconciled to the notion that I will likely grieve the rest of my days...some losses stay with you forever (and they should - because the loss is of something beautiful, wonderful and monumentally significant). I will forever hold those I've loved and lost close to my heart. I'd rather suffer grief in perpetuity than to lose touch with the joys, the gifts and the the love at the root of the pain. I recognized long ago that living and loving are not pain-free endeavors. And, yet, we all carry on...as we must.

Tue Jan 09, 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Ms. Sally-Sal, you're a unique work of art. How did you know I eat chili straight from the can?

Tue Jan 09, 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger eleanor said...

Now that I am back in Australia, I've taken a little time to read back through your blog, back through several months and now years of your writing.

Although, I still have trouble understand the concrete details of who you are and where you are at, your writing - your soul, your poetry, your love of music, your search for understanding and clarity - these things have really touched me.

Please know, even when I cannot comment, I always find that your writing sparks something in me, some thought, some contemplation. And that I hope for you - only the best of what's to come.

Wed Jan 10, 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

My dear Eleanor, thank you for your patronage! I, too, have trouble understanding the concrete details of who I am and where I'm at...but I'm grateful for your words.

I've added my e-mail address to my profile specifically for your use. I have a book I want to send to you. Please mail me your address, and I will dispatch words and thoughts far more beautiful than any I could possibly muster.

I hope your father is recovering well and quickly.

Wed Jan 10, 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

My goodness, this takes me back forty-three years to the last, and only, time my heart was broken. Damn, it hurt.

The good part is that I was found by somebody much better.

Still, it's painful to think about.

Fri Jan 12, 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

43 years, and the memory still hurts...that's a powerful comment, Donna.

Still, Cupid must have certainly taken a shine to you, to lead you to another, and decades of happiness.

Thanks for stopping by.

Fri Jan 12, 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Funny, all day long I've been feeling grateful and relieved I don't have 43 years left.

Sat Jan 13, 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Photos can be bittersweet. Altho my loss was a death, the pains are so similar. I ran across a video of my hubby the other day and it just floored me. How can this vivacious man be gone from my life? All I can do is sigh and remeber the grand beautiful times. Peace be with your thoughts and keep on healing. And hey don't give up lol you may well have 43 wonderful years ahead of you! [I am really enjoying reading your blog..]

Mon Jan 29, 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you for your comments, Cheesy.

Mon Jan 29, 11:12:00 PM  

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