Take a glimpse at the photograph. And then close your eyes for a minute. Meditate. What is your first thought, first association with the photograph?
THE VERY ESSENCE OF LIFE
Everyone has a few dates in their lives, certain milestones, associated with love, birth, celebration, loss, death, life… For me that date is 11 July. On 11 July 2001 my dad passed away. For weeks, months and years that followed, that date for me was associated with pain, heartache and mourning of the deepest kind. It was a milestone, a rite of passage, my first experience of death in the immediate family, at an age where it was no longer a vague idea shrouded by safe distance and childish apathy. Waking up to panic attacks in the middle of the night, dreading every single Father's Day, secretly envying daughters all over the world who were lucky enough to have a father to send a card to, or take out for dinner, or to simply sit down and enjoy quiet companionship with.
Yet time is the kindest nurse – before you realise, you find that time has gently mended your deepest scars, nursed you through the darkest hours of grief and nourished you back to strength and renewed resolve to carry on. In time, I realised that any date associated strongly in my mind with my father, especially 11 July, became a day of celebration of his life – and a celebration of life.
One regret I have every year on 11 July is that, is that because of work commitments I cannot be there to visit my dad's grave, to lay down flowers, to whisper a prayer, to sit quietly on the edge of his tomb in the sombre silence of the graveyard, just to feel his presence around me. I still do visit him though each time I go to
Today's photograph was captured on one such visit. Like in any major city around world, visiting a cemetery in Istanbul is a bizarre experience, finding yourself in the sombre solitary silence, disquieting quiet of intricately designed avenues, streets, alleyways of marble tombstones, dappled in the afternoon sun streaming through the dense leaves of ancient trees in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a buzzing metropolitan alive with vigour, energy and aggression; aged willow trees towered by glitzy skyscrapers, urban high rises proudly standing tall.
Looking through the leaves shading the last resting place of another loved one, it is easy to see the twin towers and their morbid connotations.
'Life is a journey, not a destination' flashes the magnetic picture frame on my fridge, holding a picture of my parents and a ten year old me; indeed it is. 'Death is the best advice in life' says a sign the cemetery across the
Two months after my personal tragedy, the world shook with a global tragedy of two planes searing across the
These two pillars of strength are mere proof that despite the frozen moment of stunned shock and the sombre grieving that follows, life goes on. As they laugh and cry through the reminiscences of old times, travel through the ups and downs life has to offer, taking strength in their friendship; they truly live, cherish, capture, enjoy every single moment of the journey. What they have lost with their husbands' passing, they have found in their friendship: the will to go on, the wisdom to know all that comes shall indeed pass, and a hand to hold on to in sadness, and a hand to high-five in celebration.
Towers will tumble, castles will crumble, fortresses will one day fall to ashes and dust; one day each journey will reach its ultimate destination. 11 July reminds me to make the most of the journey, to tell loved ones they are indeed loved as much and as often as I can, to truly live, cherish, capture, enjoy every single moment. On 11 July every year, as I celebrate my father's life, I resolve to lead such a life that would make him proud, a life as much worth celebrating as his own.
Anyone looking for the services of Suby & Sinem as Photographers, you know what to do... Please also visit our other photoblog of fashion images by clicking on Suby & Sinem "Ars longa, vita Brevis"
Anyone looking for the services of Suby & Sinem as Photographers, you know what to do...
Please also visit our other photoblog of fashion images by clicking on Suby & Sinem
"Ars longa, vita Brevis"
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