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(looking for) the heartbreaker

It has been more than two months sitting at the little white table in the living room, writing. Pushing out pages, fixing these pages, living with these pages then waking up and chewing them apart again, then adding on a new section. It is a mill, grinding the raw ideas down to a fine powder that may somehow rise and become bread. Or it may not. So many thoughts begin with "what if". What if they get stuck in an old elevator? What if she is not home when they come the first time? What if she is coming back from the market and passes them on the stairs? What if the driver is older? Or younger? What if his brother shows up instead? The questions are greater than the results on the page, the dialogue is whittled down to nubs of something recognizable.

There are cold cups of coffee, emails that go unanswered. The light comes and goes, and most of the work is done in the dark in more ways than one. Cooking dinner helps. Playing some guitar helps. If you are not careful you forge…

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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