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no gold (things will have to wait)

There is an old Russian expression for the inevitable moment when your neighbors begin renovating. "Searching for gold in the walls." They say, to describe the epic sounds of drills in ancient concrete. You might appreciate this odd humor, this dark joke, this survival tactic. I am not so graceful a man to wrap my thoughts around it. Those drills and grinders, they shake the very walls of our apartment. Early on Sunday mornings and often long into the evenings they go.

This has been going on for the last four months, maybe more. I stopped counting.

I cannot imagine there are any walls left, that there is an entire open floor below us, the wind whipping through the naked beams and nothing else. That is the only explanation. Or that they break down walls, build new ones, find a flaw, some grand mistake and then break all of the walls down again. Not swiftly with sledgehammers, but with one crappy old drill with a dull bit, mashing away, so that children hundreds of miles away…

proof, or not (it all matters)


We all have our sweet tooth, our weakness. Honestly, there is nothing inherently easy about pictures of children on playgrounds, or empty swing sets, or old men playing accordions, or faces behind the windows of train cars. But we may have seen enough of them at this point. Maybe not. I like to go out with a camera in my bag and take no pictures, just walking, my head craning around corners. Sometimes that magnificent collision of life and lens, f-stop and shutter happens, on other days it does not. Like a lottery, like fishing, you have to put your pole in the water - a leap of faith, a little wish or something you just imagined you might find in the world. I have come to believe that the act of intention, the process is what counts With a picture as proof, or not - it all matters. 

A week ago, there was an hour or two before V's birthday party. The house smelled of good food, the dishes were in perfect little stacks on the table. The wine was getting good and cold. We were all showered and changed. V wanted to dance, and we wiggled around in the bedroom, me acting like an electric eel her like a baby swan. We ran from one end of the room to the other, lip syncing to Stevie Wonder. Her laughter arrived in great waves, splashing into the hallway. I might have taken a picture then, but decided to just enjoy the moment for what it was. Something fleeting, and inspired. 



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