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Married or not you should read this…

I came across this today on a social networking site and I am not ashamed to say that it made me cry. I read it to my wife and broke down before I reached the end. Please read this……and put perspective in your life

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“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. If you are not in a relationship now, remember this for the second (or third) time around. It’s never too late.

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This got me thinking….

Yet another snow-fest in wild-weather Britain this weekend. Confined to barracks and the digital SLR’s put in to moth balls for the unforeseeable future. Oh dear, don’t I sound pessimistic? Me a pessimist? maybe, oh I don’t know… its been a very dry January photography wise. But, that’s only out of choice. I was browsing images on my iPad yesterday and as I flicked through the recent additions to Flickr from my contacts one particular image caught my eye. Now, for sake of clarification purposes only, the reason it caught my eye was not what you think. “How do you know what I am thinking?” I can hear you saying to yourself…. Well if you are a heterosexual male then you were probably thinking the same as me..if you are of any other sexual orientation then you can post your feelings in the comments box with regard to the image I am about to post. And be honest.

The Kiss (remade) by Simon Asquith

The Kiss (remade) by Simon Asquith

Above is a great frame by photographer Simon Asquith. Simons image is on his Flickr page here : Before my eyes even arrived at the title at the foot of the image my brain had already worked out that I had seen this somewhere before. And before anyone says yes you have, on the wall of a shop or in one of those poster racks that you see in stores; that’s exactly where I have seen it. But you and I are quite wrong, what you and I have seen is the original of this image. Simons version is actually a remake. A great attempt at recreating the work of photographer Tanya Chalkin. ( www.tanyachalkin.com )

"Kiss" by Tanya Chalkin

“The Kiss” by Tanya Chalkin

The Kiss has become one of the iconic images of a generation, one that I’m sure will be long remembered. Its shows two young female models laying face to face embracing and intimately kissing. It was taken by Tanya in 2001 and as I stated previously, saw huge worldwide sales as a poster. It was also used in the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Universal Pictures.

Is it the relaxed nature of the picture, the passion behind the closed eyes and the comfort of the embraced hands or is it just two gorgeous girls getting hot and steamy….either way, when I eventually stopped looking at it for long enough it got me asking questions about the image by Tanya; One being how true is the actual image? How much of what we see is factual? I couldn’t question Simons image as it was recreated and I can only assume he just used two models for that purpose. I looked all over the internet for some answers, but after an hours searching I drew a blank. What I was looking for was the real truth behind the image. I know this can be asked of any photographers’ or artists’ image but that’s because what we are seeing is a split second in time and we then use the information we can see to make judgement, that’s how we roll. We very rarely understand the creators thinking, meaning or intention unless it’s explained in text or its slapping us in the face. What I needed to know goes a little deeper in to the ideas of the photographer and the feelings of two subjects.

On to the image, the two girls look very much in love, you can see this by the way their hands are positioned and the body language. But we don’t actually know this, as I stated earlier we only assume this from the information that we interpret. We then make a decision based on that information. There are, in-fact so many permutations possible in the construction of this and any image set.

Were the girls an item and merely acting and/or performing their true feelings for each other for the benefit of the photographer? In which case the image is a true reflection. Or is it? If they knew the photographer wanted to only create this image they could merely pose for this shot until the person behind the camera had them in position and obtained the image they wanted. Game over. But, I ask, would the true heat and passion behind their feelings for each other really come out, both on set and in the final image, knowing that the photographer was firstly in the room, and secondly that once the photographer had captured the image they had to stop and switch off. It must be slightly off-putting knowing in advance that you are going to charge yourselves up and get in the mood only to be forced to stop half way through. Maybe? or maybe not?

Were the girls an item and actually displaying their true feelings for each other, period? It has been said that the only way to obtain an image like this would be to set it up without the subject’s knowledge and to have hidden cameras. What would the difference actually be? Would the photographs look any different? Or would it just be the photographer and the subjects that knew the truth? Failing that, another option would be to find two models willing to go the whole way and be totally camera friendly. Mmmmm .. the mind boggles about the possibility of this one

Were the girls just models and posed in that position by the photographer? In which case there was no feelings whatsoever and the models and photographer alike have done a very good job of portraying the feeling, emotion and heat of a very sensual situation. If that is the case, then all parties should be commended. Firstly the photographer for getting it all right and secondly the girls for a great act.

Moving on, as we will never know unless Tanya replies to my email contact. This then got me thinking about the possibilities of recreating an image like this myself. Not to actually do it, but just to consider the logistics and hurdles involved in setting up a location shoot to recreate a renowned image of this style and magnitude. Certain parts of the checklist are just formalities, you know what I mean, the camera, equipment, studio etc. Its only when you come down to the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that you begin to realise what a tricky task it is. The major hurdle is the models. Not only do you have to find two girls willing to pose in their underwear, but you have to find two girls also willing to carry out the steps I initially questioned of the original photographers work. So, it narrows down the possibilities somewhat considerably when you advertise for two female models criteria as follows etc ….

Having worked as a photographer I’m aware that having contacts and people in the know gives you great resources when it comes to looking for possible subject models. On top of that there is always someone who knows someones aunt who’s got this daughter, I’m sure you know the story. But as “Joe Normal” these resources are just not always available so the search moves closer to home. Its times like these that you realise that it’s never going to happen. My thoughts then turn to leaving it to the big boys and let them earn the mega bucks……I suppose I could always put the picture as my desktop wallpaper, but then I would never get anything done, let alone this blog.

All comments welcome.

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