Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Alone on an estate.

In the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, east of the city of Redding, is a nice little town by the name of Quincy.
Located in a large valley in between the high hills.

About 12 miles out of Quincy lives long time friend Tim on a 34-acre estate surrounded by a National Park.
Friend Tim lives by himself.

In the peace and quiet of friend Tim’s estate memory drifted back.

The first 13 years of life were also spent on an estate.
This was in the South of the Netherlands.
A large wooden house surrounded by nature.

There were seven people living in this house.
The parents, the four children and the governess.

There was a library in the 12-room house and in wintertime this was the most favourite place to be.
Sitting next to the window and the warm radiator reading books.
Any book that was in the library.
Even the 12-volume encyclopaedia was read.

In summer it was outside where most time was spent.
In nature having experiences with animals, building huts and climbing trees.

All these activities, summer and winter, were alone.
Not with the brother.
Sometimes with the sisters.
Never with the parents.

There was not a choice between doing things alone or with others.
It was simply a fact of life that childhood was alone.

At the age of 11 the father gave as a present a camera.

He had seen how there had already been a fascination for making pictures.

The camera became the lighthouse in life.
A source of light.
A central point.
An indicator where to go.
Everything that as a child was needed from the parents and the family, and that they were unable to give due to the tremendous problems they were involved in themselves, came now from the lighthouse.
It was the only thing and therefore it was grabbed like a lifeline.

This is why photography became so important and why it became the devotion and the passion.
Everything in life that a child growing up in a happy and harmonious family learns from the parents and the kinship was learned through photography.
Photography a substitute for love and warmth and belonging and protection and recognition.

Tim said: “You are so gifted”.
This is not true.
Specific circumstances during childhood forced to look and find realization and fulfilment of life somewhere else.
Children who are loved don’t need to do this and can live a quiet and happy life not needing to go into extremes to find justification for existence.
Potentially they could be fantastic artists as well, because every one of us has fabulous talents, but they simply have no need to wake it up.

Everything is in balance though.
If the parents had been able to love, there would not have been our sharing of this story today.



robert Hill said...

Yes, the things that happen in our life that we feel are negative turn out to be the most positive in hindsight, it takes time to see and accept, and everything positive that I have day dreamed about and really wanted, has come true, in time,, be careful what you wish for,, you might get it, Robert

Fred said...

It's too bad in a way, that most of us reach middle age, before we realize the impact our childhood enviroment had on our personality, and overall attitude toward life.
Wonderful, insightful entry today, thanks.