JUL 30, 2017 @ 18:19 CET

Dear Ivan,

Maybe sitting on a boat watching the shore is the correct distance and the correct perspective for things. Most often I find myself too close, wishing for a distance a little larger and a speed a little less so I can follow and understand. But then again, probably the point of “experiencing” is that we do not simultaneously try to interpret. To not think, to be able to look back later.

I stand on the shore and look out to the sea and ponder. Yet so many on the same seas look in the opposite direction at appearing land and hope for survival, for help, for a future.

A “what if…” to just leave all behind and fly away, is met in the opposite direction by a pure survival instinct, a powerful hope to be met by fellow human beings prepared to help. One, long arrived, wants to leave; one, long left, wants to arrive. Do I even have the right to pause and stare in the distance for no reason? Guilt.

Yesterday I was at a fairy tale amusement park with my two god children. After a day of incredible roller coaster rides, we entered a huge indoor display of fantasy worlds: an elven world, a gnome world, a land of far far away world, a world of stars. We sat in our little hanging cart floating silently past these carefully constructed worlds, looking in awe at vast cities and entire civilisations, as distant privileged witnesses from the sky. In that instant, I felt the urge to jump into that magic place, leaving all the weight of greed and violence and cynicism and war and the worst of mankind behind. For just one moment, the illusion was complete. Then a deep sadness fell over me, a sadness for humankind as a whole, for being part of it, and for knowing it would not get better. And a guilt for catching myself wanting to step out, even if only for an instant.

/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters@ivansigal and @antonkusters on Instagram ///