walking with a tortoise, pigeon steps in shoes with battered mirrors

There are times when the city pauses. or the body in the city pauses.
a space forms.

elements become clearer, the shop fronts contain in them a wealth of stories which I could not see before.
as though walking with a tortoise, pigeon steps in shoes with battered mirrors on from a different life era.

these are the times I cherish.

new lenses which through their shining glass allow the city to become soft, a malleable moment, where I am thankful for my solitude.
flooded with a tide of memory, some soft, some painful, some left in glass jars forever engraved with statements never stated but forever felt.

I carry things, books, cameras, notebooks, dresses, sensations, memories, conversations, neatly in an ordered chaos, they are patient with me, never pressing their own review, celebration or recognition.
but in these quiet moments, we are allowed to perform a duet,
in the movement of my hand,
in the light step, the heavy step, the sigh, the shoulders stiffen, the eyes close, the eyes open and I am with these moments I contain, soft memory, no certainity of emotion.

It is not only the city which provokes such sensation, rather amongst the endless landscape of events, moments of solitude become scared.
my own history, imagined or conceived history of the spaces I inhabit fleetingly or constantly, in these moments becomes a treasure, a pure raw form of sensation which does not need to be evaded or saved cautiously for another time.
the beat of the city pulses, blasts, propels, drifts, I allow myself to re-join the forces, real, imagined, objective realities, subjective perspectives.
the city can only offer a subjective canvas, through which our disciplines, our trainings, our contexts and our pasts allow us to shape, paint and mould.

when, in the times where I can sit, still, stand, alone, in my own silence; the sound I s deafening, the symphony of evolving, present and disappearing landscapes. I indulge as blank canvas to their sensations and provocations. the voices of the city in endless embrace of its shifting form. subjects, objects.

The man I see every morning sat on the bench doing his exercises, he is 81 he told me, and has come to park for 7 years, one day he hopes to return to China, he tells me to ride safely.

The man who owns the antique shop whicb sells old mattresses at high prices, all he has said is hello, once he said how am I? but everyday he nods to me, sometimes a wave, I feel sad on the days when I don’t see him, even if no nod.

The lady who sells giant snails on the highstreet in grand dresses and a headdress, she tells me that the city is in tatters, but she has hope.

The lady who works in the park café who tells me she is waiting to earn enough money to fly her husband and children over to London and hates it when people leave half opened sugar packets as it’s a waste, so she pours it into a bowl.

All these people make a world, one which I don’t know the intimate details of but enough to feel a part of some unknown whole, which when I am noisy in myself it would be easy not to hear.

to listen is a celebration of sorts, a realism that gives shape to a complex muddle which calls itself a city, I am thankful in a quiet way

~ by beatricejarvis on June 4, 2011.

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