“Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mother’s face.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Fatherly love, reflected in the face of his young, growing daughter.
Frans Hofmeester started filming Lotte the day she was born (October 28, 1999), and has been compiling the footage ever since. Sometimes she’s just staring at the camera, and sometimes she’s talking animatedly to her father, though the words have been drowned out by music.
The wonder a parent feels watching his or her child grow is not always something that can translate to the world around the cocoon of the family.
This video, however, is just breathtaking. Not only do we get to see the love of a parent rendered palpable, but we end up experiencing something very profound in the ineffable qualities of time, transience and continuity.
I found myself drawn to Lotte’s eyes, maybe because of what is already so obvious: that eyes are such a gorgeous and naturally inviting center of gravity on a face. Hair styles change, accessories and dental gear come and go, but her eyes are are thread to this story, if we can call it a story.
Every life is a story, of course, and most of it remains hidden from us. This is what makes the discoveries we can make so rewarding. I found myself enthralled as whole seconds passed by (days or weeks in her actual life) where I felt Lotte was haunted by something, or that she might have been sad, or contemplative, for relatively long stretches of time.
Often she is happy and excited, staring at her father/the camera. But the sparkle in her eye, the way the inflections change as her life plays out, are a wonder to witness.
What we can see and what we know are different things. What we project onto people and what’s actually there can also be vastly discrepant.
Still, there is always a truth to be found when we commune with others, and the fact that this person is not in front of you, but in a video, and the fact that you are only four minutes older by the time you’re done watching, and Lotte is 14 years older, doesn’t seem to detract from the possibility of this truth that her face(s) inspire.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Apprentice: Terri Tremblett / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Youtube Screenshot