Farewell for now
Image by Craig;
Have you ever seen the opening to Terminator when Arnie drops out of the sky with this pulse of light and finger like power arcs zapping all around – Well that’s exactly what happened to me when John dropped in for my Exit Interview
“Fcuk I said, you really know how to make an entrance.”
“Sorry man came the reply – Where the heck am I anyway,” came his response.
Standing at around 5’ 11” in the old measurement he still cut an imposing figure. This was a man I had never met, but whom had been with me for most of the life I care to remember. His hair was shoulder length and somewhat shaggy and with his trade mark spherical glasses he was known the world over.
“Three four” he begins to sing and trails off with “instant Karmas gonna get you… Wait till I see Yoko, she will be very interested in this.”
“So why am I here?”
“Well I am leaving Flickr for a while and thought this would be a novel approach to leaving as well as being able to say a few words to my friends and contacts within the Flickr community – You know, rather than just disappearing and not saying anything. Besides when I think back to my youth and that period of life that really starts to shape the person you become – you and the rest of the band were well and truly a big part of that change. “
“I remember when I was sailing in Melbourne out of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, in their Cadet class. The year was 1970 and you guys had been around for a while. It was the year when “Let it be” came out and it changed everything for me. I was looking at the older guys in the club that had their hair long and acted very cool in the games area of the club. They ruled the pool table (the only area we were allowed in cos of our age) and when they arrived they would kick us off the tables and we would be reduced to watching and listening to them while they drank and played pool. They were of course discussing girls, big nights out on the booze and music. It seemed to me at the time that the world was divided into Beatles or Stones fans and you couldn’t be both. I was a Beatles fan and it wasn’t until I was older that I started picking up on the genius of the stones as a group.
All through my life your music has played a major part in my memories. I look back and remember vividly how I would sing my son to sleep when he was little, changing your words from Shaun to Tristan. I bet to this day he may even remember the song or the melody, if not the words. Anyway enough said, let’s get on with it shall we?”
John clears his throat and shuffles around in what is only one of two comfy arm chairs perched high in the Himalayas overlooking a tumbling river that is making its way down to the valley floor miles away. The river looks rushed and confused as it tumbles and tosses its way down. The tell tale sign of its journey was the glint of reflected light from the sun as the river made its exit way off in the distance.
He adjusts the position of the cat in his lap (which I had only just noticed) and leans back surveying the view before him.
“Ok, so why are you leaving Flogger?”
“It’s Flickr” I say correcting him.
“Sorry man. I have never heard of it” “Well that’s understandable – you haven’t been around in the flesh, so to speak for some time.” I add. “Right,” he adds. “Tell me why you are leaving?”
“Well I am about to pack my bags and head north again to spend some time with my kids. I will also be concentrating on getting my photography business up and running in Brisbane and I want to try out a couple of things. Stuff like a photo Blog. I enjoy writing in shorts spurts and have often wondered if I have the stamina for a Blog. It will be a great way to hone some writing skills.”
“Well that’s it then – good luck and I’ll be off, I have this tune in my head I want to jot down” he says in his Merseyside accent.
“What!” I say – “You can’t just bugger off now; we have only just begun the interview, besides there are a couple of questions I have. You know stuff that know one else would know, that proves we did actually have this conversation. Tell me where your ashes are for instance. When I was in NYC in Sept 2002, I went to the Dakota and Strawberry Field, but I just didn’t feel anything. You know…your presence! None of your songs came to mind and I really wanted to feel something!”
John let out a little chuckle and the cat on his lap gave him a sly look.
“Maybe when we finish this interview,” he added.
“So it’s just a time thing. You know, the reason why you are leaving Flog er Flickr?”
“Yes, that and the fact I want to search out other sites to help me grow as a photographer. I don’t feel that Flickr can offer me that anymore. It’s changed. Or I have changed. One of us has outgrown the other and I’m not sure which. I tried to get in touch with them recently and came up against a dead end. Sorry for the dead reference mate. They give you a list of names of people, but on further investigation that I might add was pointed out to me by a Flickr buddy, the names appear to be dupes and not really a way of contacting them. Very frustrating. I guess that was the catalyst. No sour grapes, but time for me to move on. I have made some wonderful friends in the community and these friends I will always be in contact with. I just got a bit tired of the tit for tat commenting and the groups within the community falling way short of their stated objectives. I will still remain a member as I think it’s a great Cloud for storing your images online as it were.”
“Sounds like sour grapes to me lad.” John says, giving me a sideways look. The cat also lifts one eyelid, giving me THAT look again.
“Truly it’s not, but if I am to do the stuff I have promised myself, I just can’t manage the time to be on Flickr and get it all done. I have had a wonderful time here and made some life long friends that I have been able to visit, both here in Oz and overseas. Not to mention the fact that in the beginning I learnt so much from other photographers. When you look around the pool of talent runs deep.”
Just before I get up I lean close to John and ask him – “So where are your ashes mate” He looks around and begins to answer, but starts to vanish before my eyes until there is nothing left cept the chair on which he sat and the cat. Both of us (the cat) left looking around. The cat wanders off and I am left to get these two chairs off the edge of the mountain before someone gets hurt.
At long last I hear the lyrics. "Well we all shine on..."
“To all my contacts and friends within the community – I wish you all nothing but the very best - Hamba kalhle.”