Tag Archives: The Time Curve Preludes

“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