The Picture That Changes Everything: the Pleasant Madness of Street-Photography part 2

2: The Lights Just Keep Passing Us and Fading Away

I’m not sure where my awareness began. There is no exact moment, the death of childhood is gradual. It’s a series of instances, experience that drives the mind of a child to the realm of adulthood. Perhaps it began in the backseat of my grandmother’s car.
Both my parents didn’t own a car, nor had the license to drive one, so my grandmother from my father’s side would drive us everywhere. I’m not sure where we were going or how old I was but none of that matters. This memory an amalgamation rather than a specific one. It was a moment that repeated itself plenty. A moment that didn’t feel significant at all. A nighttime drive on the high-way, her tired grandson gazing out the car window. Sometimes the greatest mysteries of life are best pondered in a sleepy haze, as your consciousness drifts through memories, as you interact with old friends and made-up ones, to movie-stars you’ll never meet and Gods that never existed. You don’t want to fight for the answer anymore, it’s too tiresome. You gently ask the Gods that aren’t really there, who are just swimming in your mind, about why you are here. You’ll never get an answer but that’s fine, you’ll make up one. The Gods tell you it’s okay, you can rest. You’ll wake up in a new world tomorrow.
I wasn’t thinking about Gods then, but I made my first childish step toward existentialism. Gazing out the car window, I started watching the cars pass us by. I started watching them disappear into the night. In the distance they would change into car lights, they would ultimately fade away. I began to wonder about the people inside those cars, who where they? Where were they going?
I began to imagine these people living exciting, sometimes tragic lives. We would pass each other and never know each other. If we ever meet, we would never know we passed each other that one time on that particular night. Perhaps a friend or a future love would be in that car. Perhaps even my future killer. We could mean so much to each other but we’ll never find this out. We are connected but we will never find out. Perhaps you are fighting similar demons. The possibilities are endless. You will never know. We should be reaching out but we won’t. The lights just keep passing and fading away.
For some reason this fascinated me. These musings would come back to me, as I passed the myriad of faces in the city streets. All these lives, too many perhaps, that pass us by. Most don’t have a photographic memories. You need pictures to remember the faces of even those you love so dearly. There’s a limited amount of space in our minds. We come to a point where our bodies are just deteriorating. If are lucky we are so deteriorated that people ask us about oblivion, whether or not we fear it, whether or not we really think there is such a thing.
These fading faces should be more precious than that. These moments that pass away should linger somewhere so we can go back to them, to understand what was happening. There is so much humanity that is wasted away. I think this is why I became interested in street-photography…

Picture belongs to Tom Plevnik,


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