Belgian veteran jet fighter pilot. Met him at the National Day parade, he was waiting to watch the soldiers march by, his mobility scooter parked on the pavement along Rue Royale. He was happy to have my attention and told me his life story. Compressed, obviously. He was a military pilot all his life, with a very colourful service history, including a long stint in the US and a shorter in Vietnam.
He is now over seventy and has Alzheimer’s. As much as he would like to carry on a conversation, he often has to wait for a word to come. And sometimes it doesn’t. He wrote a book about his life and says he had two thousand copies printed of it.
Stories of our lives. In words or in pictures. Is it graphomania to keep a diary? Does it mean that you assume your life has some form of meaning? And taking pictures? It’s even easier: just push the shutter button and voilà, you have a photograph! Dunno. I guess we’d better keep shooting or writing silly things.
And if our lives turn out to be completely meaningless, we can always hit the delete button.