The Importance Of All Of The Things

How do? (For my non-Lancashire readers, that’s how some of the older generation say “How do you do?” Why say 4 words when you can say two?)

This week I’ve been thinking about stuff. I don’t mean that I’ve been thinking about all sorts of things, I mean that I’ve actually been thinking about stuff – the stuff we own. Our belongings.

People will tell us not to put emphasis on those physical things that we have and that’s probably right. But tell me, then, why perhaps the most heartbreaking image from the terror attacks in Nice this week was the one of the doll lying next to its deceased owner?

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I was in the process of breaking up with someone before Christmas. Obviously I didn’t foresee it quite as much as she did because I’d already bought her Christmas presents (I’d also already got her an Easter gift, I planned that far ahead!). I put them in the car one of the last times I went to her place because, depending on how things went, I wasn’t sure I’d get the chance to deliver them again.

I ended up leaving the presents on her doorstep.

One of the many, many things that sucked over Christmas was not being able to see her open those presents. I know that’s stupid, but when I’d found them they instantly made me think of her and I thought she’d like them and that they would make her smile and that she would enjoy them. Yet I never got to see that that was the case.

Dad once made Mum cry when he presented her with a not expensive painting, painted by one of her old friends. My brother was more proud having won his ex-girlfriend a rubbish stuffed Minion because it made her happy than because he threw an oversized basketball through a mis-shapen hoop at a theme park.

That’s why I think the doll image is so powerful. The doll is not simply a piece of plastic. It represents fun and innocence and better times that have not just been but that would have been yet to happen. It’s not the physical value, it’s what it means.

That was my thought for the week anyway. A bit depressing, but regular readers might know that I’ve been that way inclined this week anyway. Pokèmon Go has helped to an extent. This week I also complained about poor leadership and nightmares not really doing what they’re supposed to. I spoke about reciprocal altruism and why I think that’s about as wrong a concept as people saying it’s all about the journey, not the destination.

On Monday I’ll either go all science and look at whether wanting something so much can change your DNA or I’ll talk about some new hate crime laws.  Unless anything more interesting comes up in the next 7 days, you might also get the lawnmower review that I’m sure you’re all disappointed about not getting last week.

Until then.

Do you remember when you where seven?
And the only thing that you wanted to do
Was show your mum that you could play the piano
Ten years have passed
And the one thing that lasts
Is that same old song that we played along and made my mumma cry

I miss those days and I miss those ways
When I got lost in fantasies
In a cartoon land of mysteries
In a place you won’t grow old in a place you won’t feel cold and I’ll sing

Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Seems I’m lost in my reflection
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Find a star for my direction
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
For the little girl inside who won’t just hide
Don’t let me see mistakes and lies
Let me keep my faith and innocent eyes
My innocent eyes

Do you remember when you were fifteen?
And the kids at school called you a fool ’cause you took the chance to dream
In the time that’s past and the one thing that lasts
Is that same old song that we played along and made my daddy cry

I miss those days and I miss those ways
When I got lost in fantasies
In a cartoon land of mysteries
In a place you won’t grow old in a place you won’t feel cold and I’ll sing

Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Seems I’m lost in my reflection
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Find a star for my direction
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
For the little girl inside who won’t just hide
Don’t let me see mistakes and lies
Let me keep my faith and innocent eyes
My innocent eyes

Under my feeling under my skin
Under the thoughts from within
Learning the subtext
Of the mind
See creation how where defined

Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Seems I’m lost in my reflection
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Find a star for my direction
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
For the little girl inside who won’t just hide
Don’t let me see mistakes and lies
Let me keep my faith and innocent eyes
My innocent eyes

Innocent Eyes by Delta Goodrem

Comments 2

  1. It’s definitely a powerful image. And I definitely think you’re right in that the power of the image comes from what we assume about the things in the image. I keep thinking about the connotations of the two objects–the body bag and the baby doll–because the juxtaposition is just heart-breaking.

    • Michael

      I’ve honestly never been hit as hard by a picture classified as a “disturbing image” as much as I was for that one. As if what happened there wasn’t bad enough already, that picture just makes it worse for me.

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