Wednesday, 4 April 2007


Normandy Beach.

February 1989, my son Michel is 19.
Our goal is to drive to the Mont St Michel.
In France it’s also the holidays, we arrive In Honfleur only to find everything is ‘complet'!!! We push through to Caen and arrive there around midnight.
The next day, it is 7/ 8 Beaufort, with great difficulty we get into the car without losing a door.
We head for the coast, this weather does not scare us, we were raised with it.
Just following the flow of roads, we arrive on small coastal routes and suddenly come to this beach. It stops you in your tracks.
You’ve seen the documentaries and movies, you’ve heard the stories, but it’s all a long time ago, before you were even born.
Here, it confronts you, the unexpected, the wreckage, still there, sombre monuments in the sea. I remember the images, my mind fills in the horror.
I just stand there, my beautiful son running freely on this beach, where so many his age fell.
This lonely figure in this vast emptiness of flat sand and sea.

Paul stands next to me, grabs my hand, he understands, he’s from South Africa, grew up with a different war.
His uncles were S.A. war hero pilots, his grand-father a commander in the Belgian resistance. It links all of us.
I can’t help thinking, why do nations and people only pull together when things are bad? Do we forget too soon?
We owe those who fought, those who fell, our freedom and our present lifestyle.
This is my THANK YOU to them, my sons live and I, as a mother am fortunate enough not to have to experience the fear of that farewell.

The quality of the image is not outstanding, it is the emotion that gives this photo its power, something that I am passionate about and will refer to time and time again.
I see too many boring shots that don't do anything for me, all I feel when I see them is ... SO WHAT?
And yet people try to pass them off as 'interesting' or even 'Arty'?
Another point about this photo is I like a figure in a landscape, it shows the magnitude, space and our 'smallness'.

Magda (~.~)

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