Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Macabre Night and Day







And I suppose since then I've been doing nothing but the danse macabre...
Wole Soyinka


It might seem strange that I've pushed out a title involving the macabre, but that is the theme that has been running that last 24 hours. A little while after I got in last night, I started having some problems (any woman who has flown more then a few hours may recognize what I mean). It kept me up all night and I had to cancel my trip to Bruges. After some sleep and medication I was able to function by late afternoon.

I've been using Skype to talk with some family and friends. I spoke with mother today after having shared my blog address with her and she wanted to know why some of the photos were dark. Good question Mom (by the way, click on them Mom and they'll be larger). Because this time of year Brussels is overcast and/or rainy, I've had to shoot mostly at 400/800 to accomodate the lens/monopod I'm using. Also I'm seeing noise in my photos, but the style and color that the noise adds seems to fit some of the photos I've been shooting (I've felt a kinship to Peter Paul Rubens). It also seems to fit the mood of Brussels (though it has many sides not just the somber) in which I have found many buildings, clothing etc to be somewhat dark and somber. Then I found the most unusual carousel I have ever seen. It is macabre and stood out all the more for having been on the edge of the Christmas market with it's bright and cheerful chalets. Characters that seemed to be out of the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tale books of my youth stood on it. They were located at all levels of the carousel, high, middle and low. They seemed frail with their mostly wrought iron seats. Yet children were running to the carousel and parents were seating them where ever they wanted with no problems.

A woman who wasn't American, but familiar with the American propensity lawsuits and I discussed you would never see that carousel in America. First it wasn't bright or light enough. The other is what seemed again to be the fragile construct and locations. Put your child 6 feet in the air? Not today. Too much risk. We both agreed that American children are wrapped in too much bubble wrap compared to their European counterparts. That is they don't seem to understand that life is full of risk and not always certainty. What can I say the people I've talked to here like a good meaty discussion.

Which brings me to the last discussion on the macabre plate. I was asked this evening why the Bush administration is just now admitting we have been in a recession since 2007 and why does he seem to push so much negativity, i.e. the likeliness of a biological warfare or terrorist attempt by 2013. It's not that they want all cheerfulness and light. They just don't trust Bush and his administration in his motives and timing. Because of this they have much hope for Obama and his administration to lead the country out of the danse macabre it seems to have embraced the last 8 years. They were also excited and encouraged about his cabinet choices. Again, what can I say so many people are very interested in what we will do next. So much so it surprised me how well versed they were on what is going on in America.

So I promise you, I'll return to more sweetness and light in the next post although it might not be for a few days as I don't think I'll have as regular access to the internet in London as I have had here in Brussels.

Saint-Saens, "Danse Macabre":


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Yes, I think you are right...the States tends to have more cute characters than darker ones when it comes to kids. If I remember correctly, Disney movies were darker when I was a child than what they are now. Perhaps JKRowling's Harry Potter will change that...?

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