Originally posted by Seitse
I [b]am here, more dead than alive.[/b]
Photo: A live chicken is held hanging by its feet. In the blurred background is a sign saying “Dressed while you wait.”
Caption: “Often things are as bad as they seem.”
Photo: Child in mid-cartwheel at the beach.
Caption: “Even so, some of the time it’s possible to enjoy life as it is.”
Photo: From behind: Young boy looking out a window, while a man plays a guitar.
Caption: “But the better anything gets, the more you’ll miss it when it’s gone.”
Photo: A woman sits on a penny scale in a subway, her head lowered; alone.
Caption: “Why grieve, when nothing helps? We cry because nothing helps.”
Photo: A Valium bottle, and some 5 mg pills strewn over three fashion magazine covers.
Caption: “If you stubbornly refuse to mourn your losses, you get depressed.”
Photo: Man standing with hand-made signs: “Be kind to your husband day,” “Sour wife?” “Sign here for husband liberation,” etc.
Caption: “Revenge is a form of nostalgia.”
Photo: From front: Prow of wooden boat, named “Hero”, with a sign: “Danger -- No Trespassing.”
Caption: “Suicide can be a case of mistaken identity.”
Photo: Cat huddles on a snow-covered doorstep. Ice all around.
Caption: “What’s a person to do about feeling helpless? For a while there’s just no way to see what’s funny about being stuck.”
Photo: Statue of a man, his head in his hands. The POV reveals an anguished face.
Caption: “At last you cry out in anguish, “Why me?” God answers, “Why not?”
Photo: A wailing baby.
Caption: “You can so stand it.”
Photo: Old man, on grassy rise, cane in hand.
Caption: “After all, it’s only pain.”
Photo: In the near distance; a hearse.
Caption: “What makes it seem unbearable is your mistaken belief that it can be cured.”
Photo: Girl bowing violin, a little worried look on face.
Caption: “Everything is difficult at first.”
Photo: From behind: Man holding newborn baby in his arms.
Caption: “I have never begun any important venture for which I felt adequately prepared.”
Photo: Old woman and teen girl, looking at beauty care product ads in a store window.
Caption: “Not everything worth doing is worth doing well.”
Photo: Boy flying mid-air over the surf, having just launched from a boogie board.
Caption: “Without knowing for sure what’s right or wrong, take your best shot.”
Photo: Folk-art drawing of Adam and Eve figures under a fruit tree, fruit in hand.
Caption: “There’s just no way to get it all straight. Mistakes are inevitable.”
Photo: Magician/juggler holding a small juggling ball in each hand.
Caption: “Control is an illusion.”
Photo: The front side of an automobile, showing a flat tire.
Caption: “You wait for everything to be all right, knowing all the while that the next problem is already in the mail.”
Photo: Surf pounding on rocky shore.
Caption: “Life just keeps coming at you.”
Photo: Harried woman on phone in her kitchen; two young children, one by her side, grasping her by her skirt.
Caption: “Complaining can become a way of boasting about how much suffering you can endure.”
Photo: Man plays acoustic guitar, lost in enjoyment.
Caption: “If we allow pain more of our attention than it requires, we miss some opportunities for joy.”
Photo: Dark room with nicely set table for two, and a view to a garden with statuary.
Caption: “Escape is not a dirty word. None of us can face what’s happening head-on all the time.”
Photo: A couple, dressed for a party. The young man is reclining on a porch chair, winking at you. In front, a smiling girl flies up into the air, seemingly floating.
Caption: “It’s all right to pretend sometimes. The only danger lies in pretending that you are not pretending.”
Photo: Between a beach house and a fence, a sandy trail rises up a slight dune, with nothing visible beyond.
Caption: “There’s nothing to figure out. Life is not about anything.”
Photo: A pond reflecting two people. Their legs are clearly reflected. Their torso reflections are broken up by ripples.
Caption: The answers keep changing. The questions remain the same.
Photo: A small beach shack covered by amateur signs: House for sale, girl wanted, no picnicking, ½ rates, heated, no smoking, etc.
Caption: Straightforward words seem paradoxical.
Photo: An old man sits on a porch swing, saying something. A small boy stands on the arm of the swing, by his side, hanging off the chain, looking down at him.
Caption: We don’t have to talk to pass the time.
The time will pass
in any case.
Photo: A rural path by a stone building. A person in the distance walking away with a dog, following a cow.
Caption: Remember, we are all in this alone.
Photo: Women and children around two baby buggies, attending to one of them.
Caption: It helps to know that everyone is in the same situation. It helps, but not a whole lot.
Photo: Two young bulls butting heads.
Caption: Unable to get our own way, often we settle for trying to prevent other people from getting their way.
Photo: Close up of the surface of a leaf. A small fly is present to one side.
Caption: We insist that our situation is special. It’s so hard to accept how ordinary we all are.
Photo: An old man in a wheelchair. Nearby, an attendant sits, uninterested.
Caption: By now I’m no longer interested in whether or not somebody really loves me. I’ll settle for being treated well.
Photo: Four teen girls in slumber party/lingerie, mugging for the camera.
Caption: I don’t even mind being manipulated, as long as it feels good.
Photo: Worn boards, perhaps an old door; a large heart-shaped hole cutout of it..
Caption: We must learn to love in the absence of illusions.
Looking down on cracked, dried mud. A few plants are randomly appearing in a few of the cracks.
Photo: We must try to lead a just life in an unjust world.
Photo: A woman with a parasol stands next to a card table with voting materials, holding a small pamphlet that says “vote” with a candidate’s name and picture.
Caption: We must be willing to go on caring even when we are helpless to change things.
Photo: An artisan’s hands, rolling ink onto a carved stone, to make prints.
Caption: Our best may turn out not to be good enough. Still it will have to do.
Photo: An older couple stand together in a yard, holding one another’s arms.
Caption: I’m not OK. You’re not OK. And that’s OK.
From What Took You So Long? An Assortment of Life's Everyday Ironies, Sheldon Kopp, photographs by Claire Flanders, Science and Behavior Books, Palo Alto, CA, 1979.