Friday, October 11, 2013

30 Days of Halloween - Day 10: A GLEE FOR SOMEHOW STITCHING A LAUGH TO DARKNESS (David Lynch)

My wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on the first day of this haunted month each year.  This year, for our 19th, she got me a wonderful book of found photos:  Haunted Air by Ossian Brown. It's a collection of the author's antique Halloween photographs that he acquired over the years.  And it features the following amazing introduction by none other than David Lynch.  (The original is in all capitals, so I've reproduced it that way here.)  Told in the uniquely Lynchian way (quirky, almost unintentionally humorous, unsettling, and madly thought-provoking), these words powerfully articulate the spirit of Halloween.  They are all that's needed for today's post:

ONE DAY A MESSAGE CAME.  THE MESSAGE WAS FROM MY FRIEND, PIERRE.  PIERRE TOLD ME HE HAD SOME PHOTOGRAPHS HE WANTED TO SHOW ME.  HE SAID HE THOUGHT I WOULD LIKE THE PICTURES.  IN FACT, HE SAID HE THOUGHT I WOULD LIKE THEM VERY VERY MUCH.

A FEW DAYS LATER PIERRE CAME FOR A VISIT AND A CAPPUCCINO.  HE HAD THE PHOTOGRAPHS WITH HIM INSIDE A FOLDER.  HE HELD THE FOLDER CLOSED IN HIS LEFT HAND.  SOON THE CAPPUCINOS ARRIVED AND WE BEGAN TO DRINK THEM.  WE EACH LIT A CIGARETTE AND THROUGH THE SMOKE PIERRE SMILED AND OPENED THE FOLDER.  I FELT HIM WATCHING MY EXPRESSION AS MY EYES FELL ON EACH OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS.  I SAW THEM COMPLETELY.

I WAS SOMEWHERE ELSE.  I THOUGHT I WAS SOMEPLACE BUT NOW I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT PLACE.  I SEEMED TO BE INSIDE FOREIGN WORLDS WHERE THERE WAS SOME KIND OF TROUBLING CAMARADERIE - AS IF A HAUNTING JOKE WAS KNOWN TO EVERYONE BUT ME AND YET FAINTLY I KNEW IT TOO.  I COULDN'T PULL AWAY - IT WAS ALL LIKE A MAGNET AND THERE WAS BEAUTY IN IT.  HUMAN CREATURES WITH THE FEELING OF BEING TURNED STRANGE AND OPEN TO FALLING AND GLEE - THEY SEEMED TO HAVE A GLEE FOR SOMEHOW STITCHING A LAUGH TO DARKNESS.

ALL THE CLOCKS HAD STOPPED.  A VOID OUT OF TIME.  AND HERE THEY ARE - LOOKING OUT AND HOLDING THEMSELVES STILL - HOLDING STILL AT THAT POINT WHERE TWO WORLDS JOIN - THE FAMILIAR - AND THE OTHER.

THESE ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHS PIERRE SHOWED ME.  THEY ARE FROM THE GREAT COLLECTION OF OSSIAN BROWN.  PIERRE WAS RIGHT - I LIKE THESE PHOTOGRAPHS VERY VERY MUCH.

DAVID LYNCH