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the white table

The days are not long. The nights are short. Guitars are hiding in cases, with scraps of paper tucked inside. The pen is full. There is a fresh notebook, with creamy pages. The little white desk is in the middle of the living room, a cascade of receipts and laundry perched on it.

I clean it off, have lunch as it stares back at me. This focal point, this fulcrum where my thoughts become real, this cheap folding table from Ikea. It is familiar, and patient.

the lion behind the gate


He pointed at the old gate, half-smiling. This was in July, during the handful of days we spent in Tbilisi. It was a toy lion, discarded in some trash, tucked behind the bars. He knew I would take a picture of it, maybe even a few. There are moments when you walk the streets with a camera that are too easily documented, too perfect, too conveniently metaphorical and you keep walking. There are others, when it feels just messy and real and "found" enough.  I took the picture, nodding my thanks to him - curious if he had taken one as well. Then I promptly forgot about it.

Weeks later, finally developing that roll of color film I am right back there in the afternoon heat, on that quiet side street in an old part of the city.  The lion is me, I get that. Am I lost? And I just sleeping in the shade? Am I thrown away, forgotten? Am I holding my chin high, in some lost corner of the world with no one watching? There are never any answers, just good questions. On any given day they could be foolish, or dead-on. On any given day they do not matter.

There is a famous Rilke poem about a panther, maybe the one thing people know by him. To him, there seem to be a thousand bars and back behind those thousand bars no world. I thought of this poem of course when I took it, knowing how empty and pointless the metaphor is. In truth, we see what we want to. We blind ourselves to what we want to avoid.

Sometimes a toy in the trash is just a toy in the trash.


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