I made this image on the streets close to the downtown of Mexico City at the end of August. Just a street scene. At first I just liked the aesthetic feel that blur gives the image, in line with my not always so sharp connection with the people, the city. Now, after the earthquake of last September 19 it takes on a fuller, deeper meaning, now it’s not just me. In this city and many other smaller cities and towns in nearby states everyday life, everyday’s news, everyone’s world, suddenly it all faded, the underground has shattered our sense of reality, to be never again the same.
How long can it take to take care of a few toe nails?
No, my blog has not turned into a fashion-lifestyle kind of blog!!!
Simple life events can take on a new level in the mind and heart when seen in context. In a recent article I paid homage to my brother’s endurance and everyday strength coping with the sequels of his motorcycle accident long ago with a series of images from I think 2006 until the recent months. In a way, this is a follow up of 27 later.
The event that triggered the idea, well, what really put it in motion, ’cause the idea has been rolling in my mind for years, is the minutes I spent with him in one of his frequent visits to my parents’s house, where he spends one or two nights almost every week when his work implies him to visit some clients in Mexico City (my brother lives in Cuernavaca’s suburbs ) or further ahead to the north of the country, and in that way he can spend some time with us. On a morning at the beginning of last December he was taking the time needed to take care of his feet in order to still be able to walk, and get them rid of hard skin and calluses from certain areas, and mainly from his toe tips that are a consequence of some deformations caused by the way he walks since he had that awful accident 27 years ago. The task is by no means easy, and it takes time, he even has to be answering calls from his office and clients in the meantime!!
For the majority going through feet care is nothing extraordinary, and what really struck me the deepest that morning (not that I don’t think about it every time I watch my brother struggling harder) is the extra effort and time that takes for him something most people take so easily for granted, something so easy as walking.
As I said before, my brother’s spirit for life is a great inspiration for me, and when he comes and stays here it seems that days are clearer! When I made those pictures that day I was really deep into darkness, in a state of constant fear and confusion because of depression and anxiety even though I was already under the watch of a psychiatrist and a psychologist working in therapy. And again, he was here with his everyday life, so I was a little better, and to complement that, since one of my best therapies is photography I was carrying my camera here and there, and when I contemplated the scene, my brother’s actions, the light entering his room and falling on him, reflecting on what was going on at those moments, being more sensitive as I am, especially in times of mental crisis like that one, I grabbed some slices of that reality, from those I made a selection, which I’m really glad to share here.
I’m so fortunate to make use of camera and images to deal with the world around me!!
On may the third its been 27 years that our family was deeply shaken. My brother, Octavio, had a motorcycle accident ironically a couple of blocks from home and ironically, he wasn’t driving fast that day. Since the first moment I found him lying on the ground he was not able to move any part of his body anymore but his eyes and mouth… he had simply broken his neck.
At the hospital they said he was going to die, there was nothing to do, however, he was taken into surgery on May 11th, eight days later!!! The odds were to dark, the procedure could result in 80% to 90% of chance of death, if not, a vegetative life, and at best, living but only able to move from the neck and upwards, for a time…
His case is archived as a miracle in the hospital, they are not sure how he was able to move his body again with some time, and even walk and lead a relatively normal life!!! His life and ours here at home was for months and months a tough struggle but it was for sure so worthy! Some muscle and organ sequels remained but really a piece of cake compared to the drawing that future gave us that May of 1990.
My brother has lived with the physiological and anatomical sequels really bravely, a true fighter all in all! Here I feel honoured to pay this homage to his endurance and strength, an acknowledgement from my part for being such an inspiration in my life, for keeping up with life with such a burden in his back. Those who have read this blog lately know that I have recently discovered I’ve carried my own burden for so long, one that is invisible, but real. My own struggle continues and sometimes almost unbearable, for those times watching at my brother’s spirit is the number one anchor to keep myself linked to life.
This homage made of images is born from becoming sensitive and reflecting about the essence of things taking into account the life my brother leads and a moment in his daily activities that happened here at home in one of his frequent visits, this idea came to me a few months ago, when I was at the bottom of my place in darkness, struggling with depression and anxiety, and even from there I was able to be struck by what was evident in my own images. From that day here I show only the image of the foot fixing, the others were made in previous years since 2006 (the ones from the days of the accident are somewhere else) trying to compile moments that show my brother’s quality as a life warrior.
Now, why after 27 years, why not wait for, let’s say the 30th anniversary?, what happened to him, and from my own experience, I surely know life can not be taken for granted, it can slip away in a fraction of second, and not me neither anyone else can be sure when our time here is over.