I went to San Juan with Robin last year around Christmas, and I’d just bought her a lo-fi Zumi digital camera from Photojojo. We walked to Fort San Felipe del Morro, and wandered around the nearby structures. I found some ramparts overlooking a graveyard, jumped up, and did that trick where it looks like you’re jumping off a ledge, because the other person can’t see what’s in front of you. I did this as Robin walked up, and this is where her video clip begins.
I pulled her up to reveal a view of San Juan Cemetery, and, beyond it, the ocean. Looking through the camera, she walked forward, assuming that I had vetted the area and it was safe to walk ahead. In fact, there was a massive drop between the rampart and the cemetery. She walked toward it, and, a few steps before the edge, saw the dropoff and stopped.
In the moment, I was a bit shocked (see the last few seconds of the video), but the day continued normally. It was only months later, back at home, that I watched the video and realized what a catastrophe it could have been under slightly different circumstances… picturing her falling made me feel nauseated and angry, at how much I’d be hurt if she were maimed or killed. For years, I’ve been playing it tough, positioning myself to be un-hurtable. I’ve slowly chipped away at this protective shell, letting her closer. This was a reminder that you can’t feel selectively. It’s everything or nothing.
Editing this video was my way of “owning” the experience. I confronted and processed it, accepted how bad it was, and turned it into art fuel.
Odwick Episode 204
Video shot by Robin Cantrell
Music and editing by Jake Lodwick
More Odwick videos: odwick.com/