What is death? Where does it lead? Socrates said nobody knows exactly what death is, "yet people fear it as if they surely knew it to be the worst of evils." Does death constitute total annihilation or merely the transition from one form to another? Is Heaven, God and the Dive Order a fantasy? Is "nothingness" a possibility...a reality? As humans, we may lack the ability to grasp the concept of nothingness. The inability to grasp this concept may be the reason for pain, sorrow and rituals surrounding death. The motivating factor in creating and performing rituals to honor and remember the dead, lie in two places - the fear of death or the faith one has in God.
Losing a loved one to death is an experience that nearly all humans will suffer. For some, the death of a loved one may prompt a search for answers to questions about our existence of a higher power. The way one remembers, grieves, and honors those who have died may be a testimony to to their faith or to their fears. Does faithfulness in God or fearfulness of death prompt one to annually place flowers at a grave site or tend to a roadside memorial? Could selfishness be the motivating factor in the grieving process? The German author, Thomas Mann stated, "A man's dying is more the survivor's affair than his own." I believe the ceremonies created around death are our humanly attempts to make sense of time, life and our place on earth. It is also an attempt to explain the loss on a higher level.
God, bad, or otherwise, we all seek or believe to have answers about death and God. Although I have not gained answers, experienced an epiphany, or come to any conclusions regarding death, Heaven or God, I have begun to question such notions through the loss and sorrow of death and the rituals associated with it. Through the lens of the camera I have created Dark Light, a very person yet universal expression of thoughts, fears, and questions concerning death, God and afterlife. It is an attempt to make sense of a seemingly chaotic cycle of life and death - to give balance to what seems volatile and unstable. While the dark nature of these images represent loss, the little slivers of light within the vast darkness of each photograph offer hope and faith. It is this balance between questioning and believing that offers some semblance of order and reason for the pain and sorrow of death.