The Black and White Photography Project: My Toddler by a Fountain with Dirty Water
‘Dirty’, ‘dirty’, ‘dirty’; I said in increasing harsher tones. I suppose I hoped my repetition and tone will somehow drive the message home stronger. This was my attempt to dissuade Precious Sparkle from touching the pavement within which the fountain in the Walled Garden is encased. I watched his every move like a Hawk, to make sure he did do my unthinkable.
Dirty or not, this boy was determined to play. ‘Omi’, ‘water in Yoruba*, he uttered as he initially RUSHED to the fountain. I can’t remember where he found the ‘plant string’ that became his ‘boat’ in this water, which was as murky as the River Thames. My attempt to keep our distance as the water splashed was overshadowed by his determination to play ‘row, row, row your boat’.
His focus in those moments was captivating. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the intrigue; I suppose I don’t have to … it doesn’t matter if I do. It’s more than enough that watching him enjoy himself brings me such enjoyment.
My life is enriched by his every movement; I was mesmerised by his focus in what seems so mundane to me.
I see a beautiful fixture that should be admired from a distance. Moving too close and staying too long seems to taint its beauty in my eyes; I notice the dirt in the water and the dullness of its colour. I start fidgeting and want to get away; who wants a drop of that to mistakenly make its way into their mouth?
Precious Sparkle looks and he seems to see possibilities. There is water for boats to be gently rowed. He can go beyond singing, ‘row, row, row your boat’ and swinging his hands accordingly, to actually ‘rowing it’. And, ‘row’ his ‘boat’, he did.
I drew the line when he forgot my previous reminders of ‘dirty, dirty, dirty’ in order to rescue his ‘boat’ when it fell into the water. No way, hosay; not under my watch would he get his hands in the murkiness before us. You can imagine he didn’t take it quietly. Do you know those hollering cries that gets sucked from deep within the pits of the stomach. When a face squeezes up without a sound; you know the sound is going to be piercing when it finally comes out.
Why Black and White
It jus so happened that I’d changed my menu to this tone to see how the fountain will look, and I’d forgotten to change it back to colour when I took this picture. I’m glad I did though. I think the black and white tone brings a lovely quality to the piture and I like the contrast between the different shades too.
* a West African language
Do you have moments when you’re uncomfortable with how close you are to something?
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