Publicado por: mirnacavalcanti | 1 de setembro de 2013

Pictures of already gone lives


When the previous night arrived,  I found myself thinking about how fast time goes by, while looking at these pictures below (*) and the finitude of man – but    not of his works ( if not ‘destroyed’ by his ‘fellowmen‘)…  nor his good deeds… These shall remain as solid foundations of a better future for humanity, with understanding, peace, solidarity…

Theleological thoughts took over me during  a few  hours and I selected  the pictures  I’m posting, once they appealed more to me at that particular moment.  So,  afterwords, I wrote about my previous feelings and thoughts  while  I was attentively looking at every detail  of each of them… I also thought about the photographers who took them… knowing they are not among us anymore, I wondered WHO they were as human beings, their particular and professional lives, their hopes and dreams… 

Mirna Cavalcanti de Albuquerque                                                                                                                                                                                                           Rio de Janeiro, September the 1, 2013



“The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx (1858,  photo by Francis Frith) .

They were built thousands of years ago… Some  have been there much more than 2.500 years  and  scientists  still did not find out  how they  were built… where did the huge stones that compose them came from, how they  were transported through the desert …   so many secrets uncovered, so many history and stories unveiled…




“Luxembourg garden“, circa 1902-1903 (photo: Eugène Atget)

The Luxembourg Gardens were created  in 1612, upon the initiative of Queen Marie de Medici .  They are split into French gardens and English Gardens and, between both, there is a geometric forest and a large pond…  This enormous and almost incredibly garden  ‘resisted’ to the two world wars (1914 -1918, and 1939 – 1945) and still  remain in Paris a place of leisure,  showing  beauty – no matter at what time of the year…




“An Oak Tree in Winter”,  circa 1842-1843  (photo: William Henry Fox Talbot)

This oak possibly is in the same ground  it was planted (if greedy men didn’t put it down – as well as the others –  to build skyscrapers…) … This kind of tree can last for a thousand years – or more …  If it is ‘alive’ ,   during  Springs and Summers  its leaves can still cover its  beautifully shaped branches with different shades of deep lively green…




“Couple at Coney Island“, 1928 (photo: Walker Evans)

This man and woman, embraced in a hot day looking at the sea, probably died a long time ago…  Human life is short… less than a breath… less than a thought... What was their story?  Were they married? If not, did they get married and had children?  Were they happy or not? What  was their intimate  ‘story of life‘? … Where were their bodies buried ?…  We will never know…   Oh, life!…                                                                                                                          




“The newspaper seller, Alabama ‘,1914 (photo: Lewis W. Hine) 

This little boy, pictured as a  ‘newspaper seller” if alive, would be now around – exceptionally ,  120 years old…  (would  his human nature ‘allow’ him live more?)…  Well, life may surprise … besides, he could had died  even at a young age of a disease, or  later, in a war…                                                                       




I’m waiting … (Rachel Gurney)“, 1872 (by Julia Margaret Cameron)


As for this girl:  if she died when a child, she possibly became the angel the picture shows her playing in 1872… On the other hand, if she lived according to the life expectancy of those times,  she could have gotten married – or not … she  might have had a happy life – or not… Who knows? No one can tell… Anyhow, her soul is in Eternity now… 

anjjo humano

… OR life is only what POE wrote: “A dream within a dream? (*) Or…  was Shakespeare  right and   ” There are more things between heaven and earth than  can understand your vain philosophy?”
“Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?”

(**) Source: A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe, Famous Sad Poems     Family Friend Poems


(*) GETTY’s images, Cf


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