“Ward Island Ferry” (or, underwater life jackets): a short film

          In good weather, Jiri and I love to take the ferry to the Toronto Islands, not only for the pleasure of bicycling along the wide, car-free trails, but for the ferry ride itself.
          On the ceiling of the lower deck stretch long rows of orange life jackets. Walking along the length of the boat, I filmed a long shot of them, which I later inverted and overlaid with water imagery.
          At first, the the thought of such a juxtaposition creating the illusion of underwater life jackets seemed obvious or literal, but as I began putting the images together, the resulting little film felt to me like a meditation on impermanence, a theme that I also explore in some of my poetry.
          The strange thing, though, is that such meditations on the deathless rhythms of change, far from being depressing, give me a kind of — at first, I wrote “pleasure,” but it’s more like an aura of peace. Thich Nhat Hanh expresses the feeling beautifully in this epigrammatic passage:

                    We should not complain about impermanence,
                    because without impermanence, nothing is possible.

          The soundtrack is from William Duckworth’s The Time Curve Preludes performed by Neely Bruce, piano.

Camille Martin

2 responses to ““Ward Island Ferry” (or, underwater life jackets): a short film

  1. Very nice little video. As to the notion of impermanence the Greeks addressed the idea eons ago. Heraclitus pushing the idea that everything is constantly changing. And Parmenides that change was an illusion. That all is one.


  2. Thanks, David. And the fragmentary survival of Heraclitus’ texts poignantly illustrate that very principle.


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