Weltschmerz

Larghetto, syncopated, in the key of A minor:
Weltschmerz.  Deep and dreary.  The only thing to do is put on some A. A. Bondy and lie back, physically, into the listless pool of you.  I have so avoided this blog, constrained by strictures of judgement of people I don’t know, foisted upon me by forces I don’t understand.  I’ve blathered on ad nauseam about the impossibleness that is writing when happy.  Or, in fact, taking photos when not on holiday, when happy.  That’s a dual qualification of sorts: I guess.

I sat scoffing terrible food for lunch this Friday been, already disappointed at myself for such an awful choice of diet - when my self loathing was turned immediately into a hideous overpowering of empathy/sympathy/solicitude.  All of which was unsolicited.  I sat eating my lunch, and then as I engaged in one of my favourite indulgences, skimming over faces and presuming.  This habit is always an excellent measure of my state of mind - if I see nothing but goodness, light, ridiculous fun and sanity in the people I watch, then I am usually unfettered by work stress, my home life is well and I am probably in fair command of my senses.  Corollary to this - if I scowl and cast withering remarks in my head at all I see, then I am in need of a long walk, a challenging bike ride, or a charity cuddle.  Whatever, I scanned the room, in fine spirits, smiling at young love and every other cliche of life afore me.

Then, almost in that cinematographer’s technique the dolly zoom, the room fell away and left in my gaze was the young girl who cleans the foodcourt I was eating in.  I have been angry on her behalf before, when there was a spilt shake and no-one cared to look at their feet as they traipsed it ever on whilst she scurried to clean it.  The lack of respect, or even recognition of another human riled me.  But, here she was, on her lunch break, legs crossed, a suspended foot jiggling as she transferred fries from box to mouth, regarding her phone, thumb swiping, flicking and tapping through a lunch time catch up.  In hindsight, she was probably just checking Facebook, idling away the time quite happily as she ate McDonalds, in the centre of the foodcourt she cleans.  But for me, and my sadness, she was invisible to the world, working a job no one cares for, and I foisted upon her the imagined scorn and that savage clique-ing of girls her age, making her plight even worse.  Both invisible and scorned.

Of course, now, from the luxury of my couch and a tummy full of fat and starch, I know I was ridiculous.  But, there and then at that time, I was incapacitated by the ennui of it all and the angst on her behalf.  Later that afternoon as I scurried errands I popped into the Salvation Army charity store…  There I was assailed by uninvited sadness for the stories the room told me.  Enough.

And why have I told you this story?  Well, I wonder if I strike a chord?  Am I the A and are there a C and E out there to make an A minor?  Do I just need to tell the world how ridiculous I can be.  If nothing else I was glad to find the delicious “Weltschmerz”.  Amazing what a search engine can do with “I am sad, but it’s not ennui nor angst”.

There is another reason for the post, a second movement if you will.

Andante, C Major
I have been invited to a photoclub.  Cause for celebration indeed - I am grateful for the invitation and excited at what it will bring - perhaps the opportunity to talk with people of a similar ilk, or to at the very least relish in their method and the passion the espouse with their choice of equipment and technique!  But the first meeting I am able to make, this Wednesday, has a topic: “Who inspires you: an artist or publication that motivates your work.”  So I must attend prepared.  Which wouldn’t be the hardest thing to do, normally.  But as I am just so intolerably chipper 99.9(vinculum)% of the time, I find it impossible to be motivated to photograph anything.

(God, I just saw the lightbulb illuminate over my own head) - illustrated by tremendous cymbal crash and piccolo trill

When I am moody or brooding, goading myself with tortuous memories of every mistake I’ve ever made, I feel invisible - as if shrouded in my own foul mood makes me bold to take photos of anything I like.  Candid portraiture from two-feet? Not a moment of hesitation.  Thrusting a lens into a personal situation, or pace? Easy.  Crossing a threshold and planting a lens against a window? Simple.  But when happiness makes me beam and I feel I can be seen from space? Impossible.  I walk past photo opportunities, camera in hand, paralysed into doing nothing.

(Lightbulb doesn’t look so flash, I’m talking typing myself out of this thought) - uneasy beat on timpani and ponderous oboe accompanies

So, perhaps it isn’t the motivation that is effected by polar opposites of mood, but the frustration at being unable to take the shots I see, unable to inure myself to it I just put the camera down? I can see three from here, mid roll of film neither cleaned and stowed or stashed in a satchel to go…  Which ever it is.  I need to find an artist, tome, book, song, film, or something to explain as motivation.  Perhaps I’ll be brave enough to venture Haruki Murakami: responsible for this - which in itself fills me with dread and utter loathing…  but, he makes a fine example of a novelist who makes me see in a way which is not my own daily eyes.

It’s late, nightly chores await.  Fini!