”There’s as much madness now as there was back then. I just don’t understand the madness now. I’m not part of it anymore. I don’t have children to connect me to these modern times. Any step I take into trying to comprehend this world is makes me feel alone. I want to see more of the world but I’m afraid it’s just going to make me more lonely. This is I like it here. It’s not the surroundings, this place looks so much different now than it used to, I barely recognize it. It’s the fact that you guys came from my world. You spoke my language. We shared the same villains. Now the people we admire have become villains, the villains of our time are forgotten. This is all I have guys. The only place I feel comfortable with. I don’t want any of you to leave me…”
Picture taken somewhere in Veendam, Holland
”Let me tell you something about being traumatized. Being traumatized is like living in a different world. It’s your own private wasteland, it’s filled with your ghosts. It’s lonely in there but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You don’t want to be there but you have no choice. There’s the memory, you’re not allowed to forget. You can only dilute it. Get yourself so fucked up you might forget about it for a few moments. You have to understand that your tragedy wants company. It seduces with salvation but there’s nothing in there. But your tragedy, this parasitic meme, cannot sustain if it doesn’t get your mindful energy. It needs you to live. It tells you: ‘come inside, we don’t have an answer but I can make your pain go away- if only for a moment. You can hide in there.
So you go inside and wreck the world around you. No matter how many people you invite to this wasteland, none of them will be able to find it. It’s because this world belongs to you, its your unwanted creation….This wasteland is the only place that feels real. Cos none of this, all of this around us, none of it feels real. You don’t feel real to me cos you don’t live inside my world. Your trauma is always there to crash the party. It taints everything. It keeps coming back for you. And you need it. Life doesn’t make sense without it. This is what being traumatized is. It’s a fucking shit-show. But it’s my fucking shit-show…”
Picture taken in Groningen, Holland.
”Look I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. I haven’t known these things for so many years, I can’t even count them anymore. It used to be simple, everything seemed so simple. But that was never meant to last…
Sometimes I wonder if we were ever supposed to get this old. All we are doing is passing time. That’s it. I don’t care where we eat. You decide.”
Picture taken in Groningen, Holland.
”Nothing changes…. It always ends the same…. I just really don’t want to go home right now.”
Photograph taken in Groningen, Holland
”It was a small village, packed with farmers. The days were predicable. If you wanted fancy stuff you had to drive for an hour to the mall or to the city. The people live here for the silence….
They hadn’t seen him before. It was obvious he came from a different place. Cars would stop, doors would open. He’d tell the driver he was fine, ‘don’t worry, it looks worse than it is,’ he’d said, ‘I live close by from here. I’ll be fine.’ He would put pressure on his wound as he walked ahead. It wasn’t far from here, he believed this, though sometimes he forgot where he was supposed to go. He would think of home, but he wasn’t sure whether he still lived there, whether these people still lived there with him.
Things get so blurry. When you’re hurt, things become a blur. You get these images of the past. Streets. Roads. Houses. Buildings. Fields. You remember them so clearly. You feel your ghost still there.
He found a pathway under the bridge. It seemed so familiar to him. He went off the road and ventured into that pathway. They had been doing some construction there. There was nothing there, no houses. Only graffiti, evidence of youthful parties. If he made it far enough, he would find himself on the highway. Eye-witnesses said that he had a smile on his face, as if he was looking forward to something.
Sometimes you remember things so clearly and places become so meaningful to you, you need to be there. No matter how far it is, no matter if these places even still exist, there has to be a way.”
Photography taken somewhere in Poland.
”The tragedy of human existence is not death, but alienation. It’s not the end of the story, it’s the inevitable depreciation of its arc, its history, its value. We learn so much but then we forget. The people remind us but are sick of listening. Even if we want to listen, we can’t. It’s not in our nature. We are not made for everlasting nirvana. There’s only fragments and then we move on. It’s not in our genes. We must forget to make way for the following conflict. We grow to understand ourselves and then regress into bad habits and ancient cliché’s. We should have seen it coming, we wonder how we couldn’t. But this is in our nature. We aren’t allowed to remember.
The tragedy is alienation, from ourselves but especially from others. Our involvement in this grand scheme, our accomplishments, the way we touch the lives of others, we don’t appreciate none of it. We must think ourselves as losers.
And then there are those we forget about. The ones you haven’t thought about for years. The ones you stop to think about for a second, you wonder how they are or whether they are still alive. The sadness of it all; close friends and now such strangers. The greatest tragedy of human existence is when friends become strangers.
They are the ones you haven’t seen in years and then suddenly, he’s walking on the same street as yours. You don’t recognize him at first, you would have missed them if you hadn’t been looking. He used to be a good friend, you didn’t treat him well. You tried to make amends but wouldn’t hear it. You begin to recognize him when you look into his eyes, you are shocked. There were stories, but you didn’t think it would go this far. You see the shock in his eyes when he recognizes you too. None of you know what to say. It almost seems like he wants to say something to you. But he quickly turns away and you never see him again.”
Photography made in Krakow, Poland.
”I have this habit of looking back, even though I know I shouldn’t. If I don’t go back I have this constant feeling telling me that something is amiss. Something’s wrong, you need to check it out before it’s too late. I keep fearing that pernicious knock on the door, the devil smiling at me, telling me ‘you should have seen it coming.’
So I look back, observe images from the past. Some of them are very painful. Once you see them and look hard enough, they refuse to leave you alone. But I keep looking, hoping to find something, an answer that will make these painful memories hurt less. I keep trying to remember everything as clearly as possible. Maybe if I look hard enough, I think, I will discover something new.
In return I find myself imprisoned back there. I try to escape but the guilt becomes too much. I try to stop caring but I can’t. There is nothing I can do. I just keep staring back, hoping that somehow, if I look hard enough, I will find a way out of there.”
Photograph made in Poland