Away from my own fears and concentrating on the dog walks, I
thought I could illustrate what’s it’s like after a stroke through my
photographs. So I loads took of photos of stormy dark clouds – this is England
after all – with a little light shining through (where did those birds come
Then twisted trees and vines and barbed wire, relying on
clichés for inspiration.
My stroke felt like all those things and more. It felt like a marasmus of the mind. The stroke brought dark clouds over my brain with only
occasionally slivers of light. Twisted brain channels felt like a wooden presence on my skull and my coagulated arteries lay like iced barbed wire in my neck.
When I was taking the photos, each felt like an epiphany at
the time. This is what it’s like! Having a stroke is just like this. But the
feeling evaporated when I saw the pictures on my computer. They looked just
like pedestrian images in search of a cause. Too often in the photographic
world people are inflated by their own egos. Every image they take is imbued
with (they and certain critics say) is a certain creativity (bullshit).
Then I remembered my theory that stroke is a designer/bespoke affliction (bespoke stroke?) with a million different interpretations, so what would a definition of my stroke others might not agree with it. I didn’t want to appear a
sententious knob so I gave up on the idea of illustrating the effects of a stroke
and slowly the essence of Ansel Adams and EJ Bellocq left my body, and I felt so did most
But I am still drawn to my camera. Somehow my brain is still functioning and I have motor skills to raise the camera, frame a shot and trigger
Somewhere in this world are pictures worth taking.