Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There are so many Englands.

Many of us create these Englands ourselves. We imagine it whole cloth, or bend the wood of its ancient trees, or embroider the land and its culture whether we mean to or not. I fully admit this, and have lived with the consequences.

This past trip to England ended a week ago, and I miss any sort of England that exists (be it real or no) and my own England. Each day puts my experiences more and more in the land of my own invention, my England, and less in one that might be visible to anyone else. This loss is one of melancholies of coming home. For me, this is compounded by my sleepy thoughtless loss of my travel notebook. Faithfully, for two weeks, I kept detailed thorough entries about my days only to lose it on the last leg of my very long day of travel.

But to speak of my trip itself improves things, as does posting my photographs, or thinking quietly to myself of living in some part of England again. I cannot recall everything; my photographs sadly do not contain scent (lavender and wet stone on the breeze so rich I do not even have to dip my head to find it); memories do not carry me back there. Still, we can enjoy these imperfect impressions and not hope that they are more than tiny views from moving windows.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Someone once said that all art aspires to the condition of music

But what about the desperate and immediate communication of graffiti? In a small private room, in a casually spacious coffeehouse, before many other things happened, I saw/my scouts saw.

Just fall in love

Bitches, stop crying.


A discussion of how many dimensions a dot occupies, including time.


Bitchez love kittens.

A hand drawn ad for a cell phone repair service.

pleading loneliness and cynicism.

frustrated dialogues about friendship.

Dumbledore's Army 4-Evah!

I saw lots of love, lots of anger, much of it to one guy who was also described as "taking applications", along with miscellaneous phone numbers and fairly specific feedback on the results. Something about the lockable door separating this room from the rest of the shop allowed people to let out some of their feelings and views.

Back to music, after all this was a concert day. Not in a safe private space, I saw other things, social rituals, negotiations, internalized gazes gazing, and I separated myself from it all alternately with years, a table, commerce, and my camera.

The gallery and their many ways of dancing and watching. One woman stood like a lighthouse to anchor her video camera and keep the shot still, another clutched her hands together and kept them tucked under her chin [not quite gothic gamine but close], at least one lied prettily, another danced like Salome's younger sister, some twitched, some gawped, some swayed. What connected these eight was their tinybabypixieness with their piled high hair, smudgy eyes, and slender untried driftwood legs.

the angelic gray/blue/white/silver laptop glow and serene detachment of the sound guy in his isolating booth.

Parking lot graffiti: public/alienated/graphic/abstract Is that always the difference?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Your lockets, your foxgloves, your elusive ceremonies

I have a small trail of blisters running across my foot not far below the protrusion of my ankle bone. Right now they make me think of tears. Maybe because blisters weep when punctured, or because reading or watching the portrayal of a lover's mourning (always a weakness of mine) has coaxed me to tears twice this week, or maybe it is the very real witness I've played to sadness over the past days. They all fit together easily.

No one's laundry will be aired here. I respect the privacy of those I love. But your thoughts and images and stories touch me. Last year I felt like the world was shaking for many, and standing still under my feet. Reaching out and listening was what I tried to do. I'll try again, and again. It will not be enough, but such is life. Sometimes your stories mirror each other, or interlock unexpectedly. Maybe connections can form, reform, revolve, and improve things. Maybe I'm just being maudlin in the quiet upstairs room of a music-making house. I always hope bad news can somehow result in good change, and can form humble irregular pearls. You have before.

Other things occupy me as well: preparations, projects, indecision, amazing smells, backsliding and improvement. When business and routine take off to their summer cottage, change and contemplation and adventure rather messily house-sit.

Good night sad songs, walking on hot coals, blushing surprises, grunting cats, and wonderings. Always, always, always, good night to wonderings.