Monday, November 26, 2007

Forgotten


Don't look away
London, ON, November 2007 [Click to embiggen]


The irony of posting this image so soon after posting an entry on beauty isn't lost on me. I came across this sad scene as I was walking home recently. I hovered for a bit on the sidewalk, wondering if I would dare take a picture. After pacing back and forth at least half a dozen times - and likely prompting passing motorists to think I had overindulged in an old bottle of Baby Duck - I pulled the camera out and started shooting.

Why on earth would I take pictures of a dead rodent? Simple:
  • Photography isn't always about beauty. Sometimes, the lens captures less glorious views of our world. For better or worse, occasionally we need to get a stark look at reality, too.
  • If I hadn't taken this picture, I doubt anyone else would have. Imagine living a life, then being completely forgotten.
  • Shouldn't the arts provoke us to think a little? If this photo jars you a bit, then it's done its job.
So there you have it: I've taken a picture of a dead critter and left you all wondering what the hell I was thinking.

Your turn: What the hell was I thinking? What the hell are you thinking as you ponder this macabre scene?

19 comments:

HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

There's a story that goes around the jazz circles--John Coltrane is talking to Miles Davis about playing. "I just can't stop playing," Coltrane says to Miles. "Take the damn horn out of your mouth," Miles retorts. Somehow, there's an analogy here, Carmi. ;)

wordnerd said...

I think you're right -- a photographer cannot always photograph a thing of beauty. Just think of the prizewinning shot of the child running naked from her Napalmed village during the Viet Nam war. Photos don't always have to be pretty; sometimes haunting is just what they need to be.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Okay, two thoughts come to mind. First is the loss of Quiet Riot's Kevin Dubrow. Don't laugh!!! Dead things make me think of dead people!

Secondly, I was biking one day and noticed a dead raccoon by the side of the road. I wanted to get down and pet it and be sad for a minute.

I didn't; it might have had rabies or maggots or something.

And besides, if I'd gotten off the bike, I might not have gotten back on. There's always that risk.

Jennifer said...

Um, we had a dead rodent once that the cats would NOT leave alone...they drug the poor squirrel up on the porch time and time again...he had been dead for days. Hubby threw him in the trash and they dragged him back out. So...I dubbed him "Bones" and we just walked around him until he fell in too many pieces for the cats to round up anymore. So, yeah, I think you're a little weird, but you didn't name it, did you?

John said...

Death is simply a part of life. It isn't a crime to notice it. In fact, to ignore it might be the bigger crime since it is the only certainty we know.

If it weren't for the macabre the beautiful would become mundane. There needs to be a balance.

mckay said...

carmi, i totally get this! a few weeks ago i found a rat skeleton hidden behind a woodpile in the corner of my yard. it was a perfect skeleton with just a tiny bit of rat fur on the feet. i was entranced and repulsed at the same time and i did think about taking a picture. even though this happened a few weeks ago, the image still pops into my mind. it was so real in a society that is so manufactured.

thanks for taking the picture.

Joan said...

No matter how often it happens, I always feel a twinge of sadness when I come across a dead animal. Except insects and arachnids - those make me scream and jump away, dead or not, though alive is generally worse. :-P

Thanks for taking and posting this picture - it's nice to know I'm not the only one touched by such stuff.

Awareness said...

It looks like the by-line pic of the queen of right wing political blogging in this country........ Kate at Small dead Animals....Dead rodents have helped her make a name for herself. :)

It also reminds me of a Hinterland Who's Who gone awry.

photography is capturing the essence of life.....and you did so beautifully as always Carmi.

TJ said...

"The texture of death.." is what immediately came to mind.

Slim said...

Okay, with my first comment on your blog, I'm going to share a little something that I've never told anyone before (because it makes me sound like a nut-job). Every time I see a dead animal on the side of the road, I visualize it's soul as a rainbow being re-absorbed into the earth...

Yeah, so I AM a nut-job. I accept it.

Omykiss said...

I had to fish a dead hedgehog out of our fishpond recently. Couldn't help wondering how it got in there ... the pond is covered with a wire mesh.
Dead possums on the highway are a common sight.
And don't we see dead meat everywhere ... fish shop, butchers? So its not so odd to want to take a picture ... methinks so anyway.

craziequeen said...

It has brought back to mind the poor dead kitty I saw on the roads yesterday.

Of course, you're right - but somehow dead animals upset me far more than dead humans.
I am really into forensics and don't flinch at the sight of dead people - but dead animals make me want to weep...is it the innocence of them? Or is it that we are usually to blame?

cq

Rainbow dreams said...

I always feel sad for those animals I see dead - life lost makes me think... and I always find myself saying quiet prayers when I do see them... I bet it was a wicked rodent though, or maybe not - I've not long seen ratatouille!...:)

Amazing Gracie said...

John kind of summed it up for me, far better than I could have.
I cry when I have to toss a plant or when Christmas is over and the tree goes out to the trash...
and yes, the kid's goldfish, too.
~~~Blessings~~~

Jessica Foster said...

I get it. Maybe it's the journalist in me. If I want to look at it, if it makes me think, then it should be captured.

Paige said...

Yeah for you. You must have remembered my dead frog, that I still regret not shooting. If it interests you whether gross or not take a shot. You never have to show anyone if ya don't want to.

Dang thanks for bringing up that frog again!

tommie said...

I can honestly say I don't know that my camera would be the first thing I would reach for if I saw this on the road.....I would probably grab some hand sanitizer!

But if someone must capture those images, you did a great job, though at first glance I wondered why it had three back legs...like it was some carnival freak show dead rodent!

Junebug said...

That is sweet, a life not forgotten...

grace said...

i know what you mean:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10555845@N03/946504534/