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  • Dawn has its particular magic, but the downward-upward light in Venice at this time of day pushes magic into the very real and momentary. I made this photograph just as my family was waking up, with a large 8x10 camera propped on my pillow. Rachel's timeless gaze, flowing back into the here and now from the then and forever dream-state, the splurge of flickering light beyond her, the hint of our younger child's head in the foreground; all pushing into each other and becoming something much more than just a waking moment. It reminded me of the Fayum portraits.

    From Euphrosyne Doxiadis' 'introduction' in The Mysterious Fayum Portraits, Thames and Hudson, 2000:
    "The viewer becomes involved in direct communion with the person portrayed, who is as if in limbo, in a twilight zone between life and death. Looking at the most beautifully painted among the Fayum portraits is a unique and enriching experience...An experience I had in Berlin convinced me of the power inherent in the best of the Fayum faces: I was left in a storage room with about twenty portraits, and when the door closed behind me I felt a very strange sensation— that I was not alone."

    Perhaps that is it: we are not alone, we are not alone, we are not alone. Yet with each utterance, with each brush of this kind of sensation, we sense the aching singularity of each moment, each one of us, each loneliness.

    Thirstily reading the current issue of Orion, it made me happy to see the work of two friends Masao Yamamoto and Kathleen Jamie, appear in the magazine. Kathleen's poem, Roses, struck me with particular force. The last verse reads:
    I haggle for my little
    portion of happiness,

    says each flower, equal, in the scented mass.

    See the full version of this on Pradip Malde's blog
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