Into the Abyss

Walking about in that abstract something called life

It just hits you. From out of nowhere. Walking around minding your own business and it strikes you hard and relentlessly from an ambush. Life. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be like that or if I should be disturbed.

Can’t really figure out what’s going on and it kind of puts me off track. Not that I’m certain what it means to be on track though. Or where it is. But I’m definitely taken by surprise.

And I’m surprised I’m still able to be surprised. And frightened. And loosing the grip. Fumbling to take hold again. To take back the lost control. I suspect though I’m not ever getting any control. Because it simply cannot be controlled.

It’s like walking into a deep forest in the darkest of nights. Whispering shadows. Words not recognisable. A crack of a branch. Movement. Fear takes hold. Close to panic. I’m defenceless and vulnerable. But I resist. And stay. The chest exposed. The mind opening.

Life is entering the unknown. Reaching the void. The ground underneath dissolving. Floating in the abyss of darkness. Not knowing what to come. Or what to do. Realising there’s nothing to do but follow along. A total loss of control.

Then I open my eyes. And I realise I have to let it come. I have no choice. It’s unavoidable. And It’s right there. The light. And I make a choice. I choose the red pill. I choose life.

The point of life

What’s the point of it all? Is there any? I know I’ve dealt with it before. But there’s really no clear answer. And that’s why it’s so interesting circling around. And maybe it’s the biggest question of them all. A question we’ve been asking always and will keep asking forever.

Life’s but a temporary state. “A brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness,” as Nabokov puts it. Or as Murakami describes it when soldiers try to kill the zoo bears, who won’t accept the fact that they are being killed, in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: “Possibly for that reason, it took them far longer than was necessary to reach a final parting with that temporary condition known as life.”

For exactly that reason you better make the best of it. It’s short. The time’s limited. We don’t live forever. Why waste it?

Jason Isbell points it all out very clearly in his song If We Were Vampires: “It’s not the long, flowing dress that you’re in. Or the light coming off of your skin. The fragile heart you protected for so long. Or the mercy in your sense of right and wrong. It’s not your hands searching slow in the dark. Or your nails leaving love’s watermark. It’s knowing that this can’t go on forever.”

So, what’s the point really? I believe the point is doing the best you can do. Be good. Live good. Love hard. Be lovable. I’m uncertain how to live up to all this. But I’m trying. It requires diving into the abyss of my inner darkness. Confronting it. Dealing with it. Though I prefer not to. Because it frightens me. But I know this is where I’ll find the light. The light of life and of love. The whole point of It all.

Reality

I believe I’ve lost the reality. I wander about in this temporary condition known as life (as Murakami puts it) presuming things are in a certain kind of state just to realize they’re not. Apparently they’re in another kind of state. Or maybe I just woke up from a long dream and the reality within the dream is different from reality’s reality. Though I’m not even sure when reality’s just a dream or if the dream is reality.

Maybe this, me writing these words as they come to me in a confusing mind chaos, is some dream leftovers not yet put in order by my subconscious so that they make absolutely no sense though they do make sense in my mind. The line between dreaming and being awake seems to be a bit diffuse I guess.

It comes to me sometimes when reality fades into something dream like before my eyes and in my mind. And the opposite. Some dreams seem so horrifying real I cannot tell the difference. I consider leaving it here. To settle with the fact that dream and reality melts together in a blurry no mans land. And dream of the reality within the dream being real.

And hope not to wake up to a real reality as I’ve feared it to be all the way along.

Also check out the visual diaries Imagining Life and Corona Diary.

NOTES on the photography in this project: all images are shot with the Fujifilm cameras X-H1 & X-E3. The images are made in camera with Fujifilms filmsimulation Acros R. All images comes straight from the camera in JPG. No crop, no Photoshop. The flashes used are V350 & V860 from Godox.

Wanna know more? Join me on my Photographic Masterclass – here, we explore ourselves and our personal photography during the autumn of 2020. Read more here.