Monday, 5 May 2014

THE ANSWER by Sara Gaynor

THE ANSWER by Sara Gaynor

I read a letter. In the Black & White photography magazine. I cannot remember what it said but it must have moved me in some way because I looked up the writer's work on her website. It was beautiful. I contacted the writer whose name was Sara Gaynor. I asked her to photograph me. She said yes. A few weeks and several emails later she came up with the idea of water and asked if we could do the shoot at Highgate Ponds. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that the photograph above doesn't look anything like Highgate Ponds. You're right. I doesn't. It isn't. It's a beach at Southwick near Brighton. I had an aunt who lived in Southwick years ago. Her name was Auntie May. She was married to Uncle Bert. I remember playing on their carpet with a small metal train. Auntie May was my father's sister. He died when I was two. My mother wanted to buy a house made out of a railway carriage in East Wittering in Sussex but needed a mortgage. She could not get a mortgage without a guarantor. She asked Uncle Bert if he would act as Guarantor. He went to look at the house but he was not impressed. So he refused. I don't think my mother ever forgave him. She never said so in so many words but she often used to tell the story about Uncle Bert and the Railway Carriage House. 

Back to the main story. I met Sara. She  came too Brighton. We went to the beach at Southwick. I took off my clothes. I lay on the sand. I lay in the water. I lay on the sand again half in the water and half out. I pretended to fly like Superman. Then Sara suddenly produced this piece of material. She asked me  to stand facing the sea. The material was blowing in the wind. And there was the answer, my friend. It was blowing in the wind. This was the first photograph Sara sent to me. She did not need to send any more. There I am. Facing the sea that I love so much. That is the answer to everything. Love. I love the sea. I love Sara. I love my family. I love Jane. I love my friends. I love my photographers. I love the feel of the sand below my bare feet. I love my life. I love this photograph.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

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