In a world where cameras are carried like pocket watches and algorithms manipulate their constraints automatically (as in the case of all digital cameras) the integrity of the human eye is at a premium. That is why photography is interesting as an artistic medium: precisely because photographers will tell you how the field has been diluted and trivialized by the public and how digital cameras have ushered their artistic demise. Gone is the need to see and so we cower from seeing, in darkened corners like so many cockroaches, viewing the world through our Instagram filters. Now photography's role will be tested! My artistic friend, the courage you have to open your eyes is all you ever needed.
Evil is only ever applied as a euphemism for cruelty. It's a disingenuous word. I can think of many ways to describe a concentration camp, for example - savage, repulsive, revolting, vile - but none that so excuse their human impotence, or indeed elevate it to the level of ideology, as the word evil. These men and women were not evil. They were cruel and they were broken. There can be no duality of light and dark or life and death or good and evil when the latter is only the absence of the former. You cannot fill a cup with emptiness.
It's a sad fact that the only time anyone I love would read any of this in earnest is if it were endorsed by a stranger or if I were dead. Take it to twitter! Start a blog! Write a book! No, no, no, you're not listening. I just want you to read it.
Jane has 9 candy apples. She sells 2 candy apples to Sarah, 1 to Justin, 3 to Mark, 2 to Sally and eats the last one herself. How long will Jane be in debt after Mark sues her for misrepresenting the percentage candy coating according to the Consumer Protection Act?
Jane is emotionally unstable and this event triggered a deep depression which compromised her marriage and ultimately led to divorce and her losing custody of her two children. During this period, what is the approximate volume of tears Jane cried?
a) 5 litres
b) 15 litres
c) 50 litres
Jake cycles 11 miles to work every day. If he starts from his house and goes 2.3 miles east, 3.6 miles north and 1.2 miles southwest before being decapitated by the front axle of a sodding great dump truck, how many stitches will the coroner use to sew his head back on?
Gareth takes a long time to do laundry because Gareth is a salamander. If it takes Gareth approximately 100,000 years per sock, will he evolve in time to wear his new shoes?
Be there for people. It doesn't matter how wrong they are. It doesn't matter if they hurt you. Hold their hand. Tell them it's okay. Remember: it's a tough world.
My family never liked her. My friends were indifferent. In every case anyone who had an opinion of her was bitter or blind. They never knew her quiet grace, her gentle plush toy heart, never seemed to notice how she glowed a soft forgiveness for the world, how courageous she really was. I say it unashamedly, for all to judge my mawkishness, that she was my little earthbound angel.
I've been thinking about sadness and fear and come to the conclusion that actually, every emotion is a sort of transmutation of fear. To live is to be afraid and vice versa. I think that a life in which safety, comfort and consistency are made premium is no life at all: it is a retreat into unconscious. We should be glad for every fearful moment, for every small nugget of dull lead, for it is the only way we make our gold. We are only robbing ourselves when we try to avoid fear and its corollaries: we are avoiding life itself.
From now on I will try to embrace sadness as fervently as happiness, pleasure as respectfully as pain, to accept my charge as this tragic creature whereby nature expresses her love through fear. That's not to say that I will be a masochist or that nature is a sadist - that is the religious perversion - but that I will accept the mutual inevitability of fear, try to take it with some grace, and return her gold. You are the philosopher's stone and her philosophy is all around us. It's as simple as dirt: from fear, make love.
I hope that when I die my message might be condensed in a similar way. That fear is only the lack of love. That kindness is our mightiest tool. That to love is to be worthy of life. That if you heed these words you will never die but live on in gold. That heaven is all around us, made up of scared and lonely creatures just like you, who, in spite of the looming dark, gave you their last candle.