Monthly Archives: November 2011

Aging

Or is it ‘ageing’? I’m never sure. Call myself a proofreader. I’ve just found a video I first saw back in 2006, called ‘Everyday‘. A man, Noah Kalina, takes a photo of himself every day for six years and strings them all together in a mesmerising film. Hair grows and shortens, surroundings and light change, but constant in the centre of the screen is his face, an unflinching stare. Watching it I can never work out if I think he looks older by the end than he does at the beginning, and is it fancy or fact that although he intentionally keeps as blank a facial expression as possible, sometimes he looks more or less serious and you wonder what’s going on that you can’t see, what has happened and does it etch lines into his face? It’s hard to tell how old he is when he starts the project, or when he finishes it. It’s hard to put a finger on what has really changed. And I thought that was about it, but then I looked up his website as well – and he’s still uploading photos of himself, taken once a day. I can’t put a finger on why but I found it fascinating viewing. Something about what it means to be a human being alive on this planet, something deeply comforting somehow about age being something to be treasured rather than fought. His site also contains absolutely no information about himself – we know nothing other than his name and his face and that he lives in a place where it is occasionally cold outdoors. Nothing to explain why maybe he looks more tired in this string of photos than he does earlier or later on, nothing to say what he does with his time or why the odd day is missing or anything. The photos are somehow intensely personal, with that unflinching gaze, but in reality we have no context, no lens by which we can judge this man, except his face. I don’t know, if you’re going to procrastinate anyway, you may as well feel a bit deep and a bit intelligent while doing so.

If not, have a gander at urlesque’s 100 Most Iconic Viral Videos..?

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Living

I begin to wonder whether I was right. Whether what I meant by being content was really what contentness meant. If every day I do my work and I see my friends and I eat my food and I’m clean and looking nice and wearing clean clothes and everything works, does that mean happiness or merely good function? I wasn’t unhappy. But I wonder if I was skimming over the surface, that’s all, and to be able to say I am happy I also need to be unafraid of not being happy, to be prepared not to deny it.  To accept it as part of a normal life, and not as an abnormal response that must therefore have a solution which must be found and which normally entails Doing Lots Of Sensible Things. To acknowledge the black and the bleak as well as the positive, the good, and the bland. To acknowledge the bad moods as well as the good is not bad function, it’s multidimensional, and I need to stop wrapping myself up in fear and cotton wool and Sensible Things, and embrace every angle. We are not machines. I am alive, and that has edges, and it’s all worth something.

I am considering all this. This is not to say that I have considered this, merely to say that I see now that all these are things I need to reconsider. Can you see how carefully I am trying to express all this? Whatever you may think, I am not always good with words, and if I’m still being clumsy I apologise.

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