photo friday: black & white
I rarely, if ever, take photos in black and white, and so this week’s theme was an interesting assignment for me. Immediately, I thought of the film grain mode on my camera, and how it makes the world look like an Alfred Hitchcock film. I also happen to be reading Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, so while I was walking around the neighborhood trying to frame things with an eye to the melancholic, I was musing on the mood of that novel and thinking about how much I like going to that place– that melancholic, gothic place– in my imagination. I tend to forget about this side of myself, so it is nice to remember it again, and it provides a very refreshing foil to just about everything that my life consists of right now.
I am almost ashamed to admit that this is my first time reading Wuthering Heights. I read Jane Eyre in high school and it remains among my favorite stories of all time, but for some reason I formed an assumption–a prejudice, really– that Heights would be too sappy and sentimental for my taste. Of course I realize now how baseless and indefensible this assumption was, but to be fair, it may have been acquired subconsciously on the basis of DVD packaging. All of the movie versions of this book look to me like harlequin romance paperbacks (but of course, this is also an assumption as I’ve never seen the movie versions either). I am pretty sure that I have memories of girlfriends saying, with a sort of wistful sigh, “Ah, Heathcliff.”
But happily, I had it all wrong. The story is tough-minded, gritty, haunting, and unsentimental. And although it does seem strange I find that it is perfectly creditable to aschew a gorgeous summer day, and, while reclined on the sofa in a shadowy living room (for as long my three year-old’s nap will permit), to be transported to the English moors by a Bronte sister.
So these photos are a nod to all things gothic, melancholic, autumn, stormy, chilly, spooky, secret, mysterious, dramatic, Bronte, and romantic-but-not-sappy. Everyone needs a little dollop of these things on their plate once and a while, even, or maybe especially, in the summertime.