Monday, 12 March 2018

On the Invisibility Problem

Are you really invisible? When, and where? And what was not seen? Many of us are invisible after the age of 50, but in our 20s and 30s, even earlier, more than one may feel unseen. Does being unseen mean I can get away with more? Am I undetected? Am I undervalued? Opaque? Unidentified? Invisibility happens still in the midst of active careers and accomplishments.
            A friend confessed surprise, finding old letters that showed people missing her, for herself, that is, personally, because of who she is. She’d thought she was invisible all those years, so full of achievement and event. That the closest people saw only her deeds.
            The slave Hagar fled into the wilderness from her master’s abusive household and met an angel she named: Thou God seest me. Seeing is everywhere in this mysterious story: looks of contempt, envy, triumph, suspicion, and grief. Hagar was astonished: Have I also here looked at him that seeth me? When her eyes were opened, she saw a well of water in the desert.
            I often feel invisible. It’s a gift to a photographer, seeing rather than seen. But in truth you are seen both by the known and the unknown.

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