“Let’s never come here again because it would never be as much fun”
Lost in Translation (2003)
She has a single photograph of him, a black-and-white print. She preserves it carefully, because it’s almost all she has left of him. The photo is of the two of them together, her and this man, on a picnic. Picnic is written on the back — not his name or hers, just picnic. She knows the names, she doesn’t need to write them down.
They’re sitting under a tree; it must have been an apple tree. She has a wide skirt tucked around her knees. It was a hot day. Holding her hand over the picture, she can still feel the heat coming up from it. He’s wearing a light-coloured hat, partially shading his face. She’s turned half towards him, smiling in a way she can’t remember smiling at anyone since. She seems very young in the picture. He’s smiling too, but he’s holding up his hand between himself and the camera, as if to fend it off. As if to fend her off, in the future, looking back at them. As if to protect her. Between his fingers is the stub of a cigarette.
She retrieves the photograph when she’s alone, and lies it flat on the table and stares down into it. She examines every detail: his smoky fingers, the bleached folds of their clothing, the unripe apples hanging in the tree, the dying grass in the foreground. Her smiling face. The photo has been cut; a third of it has been cut off. In the lower left corner there’s a hand, scissored off at the wrist, resting on the grass. It’s the hand of the other one, the one who is always in the picture whether seen or not. The hand that will set things down.
How could I have been so ignorant? she thinks. So stupid, so unseeing, so given over to carelessness. But without such ignorance, such carelessness, how could we live? If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next — if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions — you’d be doomed. You’d be as ruined as God. You’d be a stone. You’d never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You’d never love anyone, ever again. You’d never dare to.
Drowned now — the tree as well, the sky, the wind, the clouds. All she has left is the picture. Also the story of it.
The picture is of happiness, the story not. Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there’s no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It’s loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.
Sylvia Plath photographed in front of Notre Dame, Paris, in 1956
©Copyright The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
77/∞ of Cosima Niehaus
Nothing ever ends poetically. It ends and we turn it into poetry. All that blood was never once beautiful. It was just red.
Stephen Sondheim is my hero.
getting spoken to as if i’m straight by straight people who assume everyone is straight, subsequently feeling like the world’s most useless and irritated secret agent
First of all, I wanted to thank you. Before I started watching the show, I was really in the closet and I was totally ashamed of who I was. I hated myself. I started watching the show and seeing Cosima and seeing that everything is not about her sexuality and that she is more than her sexuality. My parents weren’t okay with me being gay. I started watching the show with my mum and its helped us start to rebuild our relationship because she sees Cosima and she sees that it’s okay and that people are more than their sexuality. I wanted to thank you for that. And my question is, what’s it like to have that effect on peoples lives? And to know that you are saving people’ lives like you did for me?
'Hi, I'm Natalie Dormer'