Andreea Balaurea – Ica
Ica. A name that defines a world I no longer have access to. For quite some time. I can only imagine, or suspect, what lies behind this body of hers that is still fighting, at 90 years of age. I am young and strong and often find myself feeling this overwhelming compassion towards her. Given her state, if all the care and support that she needs for daily necessities would stop, her story would come to an end in a matter of days. Once an incredibly strong woman, both physically and mentally, she has been losing herself in this realm unknown to us, for the past six or seven years. She used to be one of the most ethical and brave persons I have ever met.
The medical science calls this estrangement Alzheimer. Over the years, a wall of oblivion has come up between her and her loved ones. Living close by, I was confronted with the anguish and anxiety that come with the search for a meaning for this existence that has been apparently arbitrarily sentenced to the extinction and disintegration of the being as a whole, while she is still alive. But what if she can truly see the nature of this? What if she has figured out its mechanism and has become comfortable with it? Is this world that she is disappearing into perhaps offering her the answers to the fundamental questions of existence, which we are still struggling to get? Is there maybe another type of conscience hidden below this silent, helpless layer?
Compassion tends to fade when I ask myself these questions. I have recently seen a Japanese movie, Mogari no mori (The Mourning Forest), in which at some point there was this line: ‘The water of the river which flows constantly never returns to its source.’ Maybe the refusal to accept change is a problem we have to deal with, those who love her, who are sometimes tied to a past that no longer exists, naively mistaking that past for the pinnacle of her existence. But perhaps my grandmother Ica has long understood and, despite all appearances, is happily walking a road of revelations to the other side. Maybe. Maybe not. Therefore, for lack of a better answer, these photos stand for my wandering in the dark.
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