I first read Shakespeare's Macbeth at the age of 14. I listened intently as my literature teacher attempted to explain the ambiguous quote; "and nothing is, but what is not." As a child, I had an imaginary friend. My mother was intrigued when I declared her named to be 'Joan'; the same name many years earlier that my mother too had called her imaginary friend. An interest in the unseen had long been associated with me, so it was of no curiosity that it was I who asked for clarity from my literature teacher about perception and the state of our sense of reality.
Two years later while studying Aldous Huxley, the ambiguity of perception came to my attention again. First referenced to my knowledge as a quote from Jim Morrison of The Doors, before being correctly attributed to Huxley; "There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
Perception is something so very individual. Yet we regard our sense of engagement with the world around us to be universal; the literal act of 'seeing' is often mistaken as something so ordinary that we don't consider people partake in the physical act of 'seeing' differently to ourselves.
My eldest brother doesn't 'see' the colour red. Well, not as I do. To me the colour is vibrant and hot, it screams for my attention and is louder than any other. To my brother, it is flat. It is without hue; instead a shade of grey- lonely and forlorn. When I first learned of this reality I found it intriguing. Reading Helen Keller as a child in some ways prepared me for the notion that we all sense the world in a different way based on our individual means of interacting with it, but to 'see' something different as opposed to us all 'seeing' things the same way, always intrigued me.
Nothing is is a work in progress. I think of myself as a spiritual person, someone who is open to new experiences, in touch with sensations and energies that surround me, and when the mood allows, I avail myself to be open to energies that surpass my individual sense of self, time and place.
The passing of my Father in 2018 served to encourage my interest in perception moreso. How could a being of life, warmth, vibrancy and love no longer exist? He must. He just must. Energy doesn't die- it just changes form. So my preoccupation with finding that plane of existence grew stronger. That place betwixt life and death. The space between being and not being, between what's seen and what's unseen; what's known and what's unknown.
These photographs were taken prior to the now regular lock downs we have all become too accustomed to. These were busy suburban and cityscapes, moments captured during the hustle and bustle of daily business life. Within them is a revelation of other worldliness that perhaps wasn't obvious in the moment but has become more recognisible since capture. When the moon is in the sky in the middle of the day. When day appears to be night and night appears to be day. Moments when the curtain is parted but for a glimpse to the 'other' side.
I want to meet my Father there if only for a moment of pause. To know he still 'is' in the only sense my simple human mind can comprehend. I resolve to keep searching. To keep looking. To remain aware. I believe with all sense of my being, that nothing is.