Skiing is something where you can be there, even when you’re not.
What happens when we see just a pole and ski tip emerging from the snow? We are reminded of life outside the image. There’s a human in there, masked under the slowly disintegrating wall of snowflakes flying our way. A person with a job they don’t always like to do, an ego, perception unique to their reality, bruised toes, long fingers, perhaps weird-shaped nostrils, a heart that hurts, a mouth that laughs, and eyes that smile when submerged in a place that only knows presence.
The pole and ski tip communicate absence. In the fullness of the moment we see, there is a lack of any of the above. It is just a tree that looks like it is reaching into the skier and taking everything, sucking away all of their humanness and making them part of the landscape. There is the sky, that makes Earth look like an alternate reality, possibly a planet from a Utopian Sci-Fi thriller where the sky changes vibrant colors by the hour. And the carpet of snow, decorated by the perfectly placed roller-balls, all, curving towards us, the onlooker, the dreamer, the skier.
When we notice absence we are able to simulate. Imagine. Pretend. Remember moments that must have felt similarly. We can see what is happening and we can imagine what is not. We engage in fantasy and an entire story unfolds within a single ski image; a story told by the tip of a ski pole and wave of snow.
Image Credit: Ben Knight