Death is imminent and in fact, I found it quite cathartic to consider my own death. More fascinating and slightly ironic is those helping me plan my death were those that brought me into this life – my parents. My parents so happened to be in town this weekend and assisted with the process. We had many ideas but one in particular stood out. As a woman who hikes alone often, an ongoing fear of mine is that I trip and fall to my death or catch the eye of an unusual suspect with the urge to kill. On top of that, the idea of dying or being killed in the wilderness holds the dismal truth that a stranger would inevitably be the one to come across my body.
Imagine the idea of spending just another day hiking in the foothills when all of a sudden you come around the corner and see what appears to be a foot. The thought is frightening and unnerving. Despite the fear, human beings are curious in nature and thus, you courageously walk up to the scene. This was the idea behind the first shot. The second shot is of what lies around the corner – a silent and still body.
Just as with many deaths, the immediate cause is unknown. So I imagined, in this case, that I didn’t want the cause of death to be apparent. The shoe is removed so you ask, “Was there a struggle?” And just as it is with many deaths – whether natural or intentional – the cause of death must be determined. My photograph leaves it up to interpretation. My father, a brilliant man, suggested that when creating the scene to leave it open to interpretation. Get the mind and conversation turning.
I enjoyed setting the shot. What I noticed as I viewed the photos is the clear life that appears when you look into my eyes. I have looked into the eyes of a dead person, and there is clearly no life behind the eyes- as if their soul has left. I see my soul in this shot. This in my opinion is a good thing! However, not what I hoped for in the shot of my still body. Regardless, I am pleased with the way they turned out. On a side note, I must thank my parents for being open minded to the idea of planning their daughters death!