Our Last Love Song
This image is harsh on the emotions. Or is it the addition of the title which helps to nail its impact? I felt like I'd been thumped when I first laid eyes on this picture, although there was probably more than a little projection taking place. It certainly made me think hard, and I couldn't help but wonder if that song gives away any clues to the reason for the break-up or the emotional states of the people involved. I've known many songs which speak of the impending doom a separation can bring, but how many times do we notice the last one associated with a particular person? I remember a time of being unable to listen to an album for two years after my eldest daughter left home...
When faces are covered I see the ease in which it enables the viewer to relate personally, the focus is taken away from the models and placed into the situation. It suggests a need to look closely at the surroundings; pay attention to the bigger picture. I think it's the woman's dress which leads me to feel that it's summer, albeit on an overcast and cloudy day. The whole backdrop looks gloomy, yet the white of the dress and the darkness of the suit stand out exceptionally well. A storm may be coming with those clouds, or did one just pass? The sea is calm; barely any ripples are visible, there's no huge impending waves nor mythological creatures of the deep. The hard shoreline is showing no signs of life; nothing is growing. If anything, it's telling me there it's of no comfort to either of them to stay in that place for too long. An old radio sits between the couple, an obvious reference point considering the title of the picture. Does its antique style suggest an awareness of an old scenario playing out?
This image makes me feel a huge amount of sadness. They were clearly well-suited at some level; there are no signs of a raging conflict and no sign of any weapons. In fact, the man's dark clothing and her light attire could be suggesting they are complimentary opposites. As everyone knows, black and white make grey; is the issue here boredom? Was there not enough colour? The water says things are emotionally calm between them, but was that part of the problem rather than a blessing? Not enough movement in their respective emotions?
But still, the reference to summer suggests this relationship is terminating before its natural time. Endings are often shown with shades of autumn and certainly winter; yet here they look almost dressed for a wedding, not a funeral. The man stands and looks at the ground, or is he looking at her? He may even be looking at his own shadow. The woman's head is focused away from him and faces the ground. If the couple were to start walking, they'd be going off in different directions; is this a calculated move before the storm arrives? Is there a suggestion of an inability to weather storms? There's certainly no sign of protection of cover if one were to arrive, and neither are dressed for it. Because he's the one who stands, is this his call? Holding her hand on her chest suggests a definite sense of loss for her. His hand in his pocket hints at resignation.
The title of the image reminded me of a tarot deck called Celtic Wisdom Tarot. The one card which stood out whenever I had it was The Rememberer, and it was used in place of the Hierophant. I pulled the following passage from the book.
The soul-wisdom: The Rememberer of Lore transmits the wisdom of traditions by which we all live. The essential lore that we need to keep forever before us is sung by the bard. What song is guiding you at this time?
Image credit - Mrs-White