– A MEMORY –
by Dafna Yosha
Dafna Yosha, 45 years old, living in Israel.
I learned the basics of photography 4 years ago in a short, basic course, and all the rules of photography in another, more advanced one, and since then I found myself playing with them and breaking each one of these rules according to my mode and the scene atmosphere.
Photography takes every minute of my free time: whenever I am on the street or in front of my computer. Since I started photographing I see the world in a different way and frame it in my mind according to the angle of the light and the movement of the subjects.
I feel photography is something that has become much more than a just hobby for me; it has a big part of my life today and takes every minute of my very limited free time. Photography is my way of life today, who I am and what I’ve become because of it, it is my dream, my future, my strength, my biggest passion and its surrounds me and I can never leave its comforting embrace.
“20 minutes after my Man collapsed into my arms, looking at me with a horrified look, without the ability to speak, suffocating, my silent pleas had no avail – “hang on, I still have much strength in me”…
20 minutes of waiting until the ambulance team arrived. They moved the empty shell of his body and placed it on the living room carpet and started the resuscitation, which I knew was futile. And me at his legs, massaging his swollen feet, I am already in the next phase. Understanding lucidly that for the past 20 minutes, I am now existing in a different reality. Suddenly, all the repressed thoughts of the “day-after”, are exploding, taking over and logically aligning themselves hierarchically by order of importance of execution. At that moment, all I wanted was to take out the camera and hold it. I knew I couldn’t use it with my trembling hands, but I had to hold it, so it could strengthen me and hold me like it did in the past year; In the examination rooms, the X-rays, the endless waiting, the chemotherapy, the long hours of gawking, meandering the streets not taking any photos, just walking wolking walking restlessly, with restlessness that couldn’t find any refuge anywhere.
I wanted to hide behind my camera during all those moments, in which I could not look and see what was transpiring. I only peeked through it, as though I am not really connected to what I was observing. I wanted it to hold me, to wrap her tether around the palm of my hand, as if to transfer to me the strength to cope. I am only the photographer. I wanted her to be with me.
I wanted that somebody really be with me.
I knew that if I went and held the camera, in that moment, everyone would think I had completely and utterly lost my mind. That is why my thoughts and gaze fluttered over the reality, in which there is a body lying on the carpet, and the vision of me opening the cupboard, where the camera is laid, waiting, beckoning to me, even by just doing that, it managed to take my mind off the harsh reality that was brutally thrust on me; an ominous and absolutely illogical reality.
We were married for 18 years and going steady for 4 years before that. Later, he had confessed that he fell head over heels for me already during our high school years. Countless years together, collecting experiences, growing up, growing older and changing. Raising 5 children. For better or worse. When we got married he asked me where I wanted us to build our home. I reply to him: “the place doesn’t matter as long as your warm and big heart is with me”.
Ironically, aggressive cancer struck him at the place most dear to me, the cavity of his chest.
Very few pictures were taken during the illness. Every day my camera accompanied me and at most parts was not taken out of the bag. At certain moments, when I needed protection and support I just held it in my hands even if not taking a photograph. At times I felt it was taking photographs by itself, for me.
The series entails pictures that can be shared.
Dedicated with love to a dear and special man, my best friend, that was supposed to celebrate his 48th birthday this June, 2017.