『浅草善哉』—幸せと切なさの重ね合わせ

「この年にもなってあいつと離れて淋しいとかて思わねえけどさ、隣にいるといねえとでは違うよ」


この写真集を初めて見た時、胸が締め付けられました。
でも、その胸が締め付けられた感覚を何と表現すればいいのか、今もよく分かりません。

古賀絵里子が、浅草で出会った老夫婦を6年間撮り続けた写真を、まとめたものです。

古賀絵里子のサイトで、写真を見ることができます。

浅草善哉 Asakusa Zenzai | 古賀絵里子

幸せと、切なさ。
その両方を、時にはその2つが混ざったものを感じます。

老いてなお、ともに生活を続ける夫婦。
その様子は、仲が良く、理想の夫婦像のひとつと言えるかも知れません。

なのに、時折、きゅっと胸が締まり、息苦しくなります。
どうしてなのでしょうか。

終わりが見えるから、でしょうか。
骨の浮いた、やせ細った体。
しわの刻まれた、顔。

もうじき来る別離に思いを馳せて、その悲しい想像を写真に染み込ませてしまっているのかも知れません。

以前紹介した『そうか、もう君はいないのか』も、老夫婦の別れがテーマの1つとなっていました。

これからのふたりの過ごす時間の短さを思うと、切なくなる。
それも、あると思います。
でも、僕がこの写真集に打ちのめされてしまった理由は、これからの短さよりも、これまでの長さだったように思われます。

日に焼けた畳、セピア色の写真、錆びたやかん。
否が応でも、ふたりが塗り重ねてきた時間を感じます。

ずっとふたりで生きてきた。
これからも、ふたりで生きていく。
他の道はない。

僕は、そこに、強い絆を感じるとともに、ある種の「どうしようもなさ」も感じてしまいます。
長い時を共に過ごして、混ざり合ってしまった今、もう分離することはない。することはできない。
「このふたりは、こう生きるしかないんだ」と、思わされます。

そこにいたるまでの長い長い道筋。
ふたりのこれまでを想像してみようとすると、その途方もない射程の長さに、くらくらしてしまいました。

なので、僕がこの写真集に感じた思いは、「詮無い」が一番適切かも知れません。
ちょっと、古くさい言葉ですが。

本の最後には、ふたりの略歴が載っています。
それを読んだ上で、写真を見返すと、また味わいは変化します。

郷愁をかき立てるような写真たち。
まるでふたりは、過去の忘れ物のようです。

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