The Half-Child

But Ed’s right: I’ve never taken a photo of myself. I’ve never done a self-portrait. It’s kind of the done thing when you’ve reached a certain stage. Maybe I haven’t. Or maybe I passed it. What’s so interesting about me anyway? I’m not that self-involved, that narcissistic to think… but maybe it’s about the ultimate portrayal – the self. About knowing yourself. But I don’t know myself. Perhaps it would help. How? A photo of a person isn’t a map of their soul. It’s a photo. It won’t tell me anything about myself, will it? You won’t know until you try. Is that always true? Can’t you know some things without trying? Or do you only know what you expect? Surely your expectations would influence it, perhaps even be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I expect it not to, it won’t. And if I expect it to? That wouldn’t work. It just wouldn’t, besides, I can’t force myself to change my expectations. Maybe you can’t choose your expectations, they just are. What about other people’s expectations, you can’t change them but you can go against them, you can choose to prove them wrong. And then there’s society’s expectations. Society expects photographers to do a self-portrait, it’s expected to be part of their portfolio. Society also expects you to have 2.5 children but that’s impossible – you can’t have a half-child. What does it mean, anyway, ‘society’s expectations’ – where do they come from? Us? The media? The media portray them – publicise them – but I don’t think they control them. Maybe it’s all ad men, but surely they utilize existing expectations, rather than creating them. So where do they come from? Ourselves? Are they in-built, somehow, or are they like Plato’s forms – we all saw them before we were born. But different society’s have different expectations. Well, no, only to an extent. Even in societies far removed from our own, they still expect to have families, to love, to have friends, to want something. They don’t have the 2.5 children expectation, though, but I think a lot of them have some form of marriage expectation. So how can we know ourselves when we’re all tangled up in these webs of expectation? What we expect, what other’s expect, what we expect others to expect. It’s a mess. Maybe all I am is confused. Maybe I should take a photo of myself looking confused on the toilet. I’d need a camera now – photography’s about catching moments – I couldn’t re-create this one.

We’re almost out of loo roll. Maybe Ed will get some from the shop. Doubt it, though.

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4 thoughts on “The Half-Child

    • Thanks, I’m glad. Kind of wrote it to help myself out, really, – stream of the consciousness of my novel-to-be’s protagonist. (This is where I go all sales-woman-y with: if you like this you’re gonna love my novel – even though it is, as yet, a mere twinkle in my mind.)

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