Tuesday, July 24, 2007

i crossed the shadow line

"Only the young have such moments. I don't mean the very young. No. The very young have, properly speaking, no moments. It is the privilege of early youth to live in advance of its days in all the beautiful continuity of hope which knows no pauses and no introspection.
One closes behind one the little gate of mere boyishness -- and enters an enchanted garden. Its very shades glow with promise. Every turn of the path has its seduction. And it isn't because it is an undiscovered country.
One knows well enough that all mankind had streamed that way. It is the charm of universal experience from which one expects an uncommon or personal sensation -- a bit of one's own."

[Joseph Conrad, The Shadow Line]

I don't have much time at my disposal; the battery pack of the laptop I'm using is relentlessly exhausting. I have to write down all I can before it powers off with no alert. I'm making a remarkable effort not to forget everything is chaotically floating into my mind in a moment like this. I opted, deliberately, not to write down a single word, few days ago, when the tide rose. Now that the waves have passed over me and I lifelessly roll on the water's edge like a jellyfish squeezed to death, I'm much more disposed to leave a trace somewhere for my better understanding and future recall. I couldn't help it: the tide rose and went down. Feels like having crossed a shadow line or, as I'd better write, shades came over me, willing or not. I'm no longer that young for going chasing them. I was lingering unconsciously like a lizard, warming up my belly on a stone when the sun turned the corner of a building and cast a shadow over me again.

A part, a large part of my soul has been taken away, literally stolen. Some might object I'm exaggerating. I don't believe so. Unknown wrongdoers, as the policeman that made the report wrote, entered my hotel room while I was away with my son, having fun on the beach and took away a backpack with "all" my gear in. When I realized it I couldn't be able to talk for hours. My wife tried to tell me something but she soon felt in tune and left me roaming aimlessly around the cottage. Looking desperately for a trace around in the garden I started asking myself what was really missing. I wasn't able to answer myself, neither to ask any question. I had never been stolen a bit before. That was my first time, one of my shadow line crossings. What surprised me more was that I couldn't be able to ponder what was worst: loosing forever all my equipment or the hundreds of photographs I had carefully taken along the coast in the days before. I had waken up at five all days to make my rides on the edge of perilous cliffs, unstable stones, precarious towers, windy promontories, salty sprays and so on.

I have learned my lesson. The insurance company will do all its best not to pay me back the ill-gotten gains. I won't have the same chance to shoot as before for a while. Double let-down.I don't want my gears back. I don't want my arm back. I'd like to have that part of my soul with me. I'd like my photos back, as no one will be ever able to give me all those moments back again. When I close my eyes at night all those memories cross my blind sight and minutes fall down like grains of sand from my fist. I'd like to wake up and write down some notes but I fail and stay motionless in the darkness I have fallen into.