by Meagan Brant
I chose to write a small collection of three surrealist essays by doing a “mock” surrealist association with data from informant day diary entries from February 12th to March 5th. We had about 35 “images” selected from the stories in the diaries and I used a random number generator to choose three. Turns out, I ended up finding images that dealt with typically repressed Freudian concepts of the unconscious: sex, death and violence.
After selecting these images, I studied them and started associating words that came to my mind with the image. Once I did this for about 10 minutes for each image, I selected the most interesting ideas so I could put order to my thoughts. I then summarized my findings in essay form and thus the Surrealist Essays were created.
“The Cemetery” was based off of Informant 3’s diary on February 12th concerning a story about his father passing away. “The Movie Theatre” was based off of Informant 10’s diary on March 5th concerning a ‘Date Day’ with the informant’s spouse. Finally, “The Penis Clip” was based off of Informant 9’s diary on February 23rd concerning a hair clip that was found during work hours and how it got passed around the workplace.
“The cemetery was covered in snow. It was pretty but cold and very sad. My dad was a veteran so it was a military funeral. I think he would have liked it.”
Death has a funny way of reminding us of the time. It reminds us of the time we’ve lost, the times we had, and the times we can never have again. Death is inevitable, a ticking time bomb of sorts. When the time comes, you can’t help but wonder where the time has gone.
Informant 3 had a family member pass away during the time of our study. In this piece, he talks a lot about the day being too rushed and that his family is more than likely going to be late. They in fact do arrive late to the ceremony. Later on in the piece, the word late is used again but in a different context. It’s used to say that it is “too late.” It’s too late to talk. It’s too late to take pictures. It’s too late to ask questions. It’s simply too late.
I can’t help but make the connection of time — being late compared with it being too late to turn back time.
In juxtaposition, the white snow that lay on the ground of the cemetery shines a different light on the situation. The color white is innocent and young, clean and new. It’s a clean slate in which one can create, a wedding dress that relays the message of purity and simplicity. It’s a new beginning, a light in the darkness, a glimmer of hope.
Perhaps it’s not too late but only the beginning.