Letters from the alleyway

20140425-180623.jpgLately has been a patch of such intensity, so much pressure in every direction, that each glimmer of tenderness, of humanity, of a hand reaching out in the chaos has felt like a branch that must be held onto tightly in hopes of slowing the relentless slide down a slope.
20140425-180449.jpg20140425-180709.jpgThat dream the other night of a house where everything you touch turns into something else – you pick up the umbrella, it turns into an eel, you grab the doorhandle, it turns into a salamander.
A house of so many tricks and false faces and turns and complications, and in the dream I am trying and trying to leave, to take my son and go live with a man I’ve met by the seaside, a fisherman, to go and live a simple life, the three of us, if I can just escape this house….
But – 20140425-180553.jpgBut I can’t leave.
I can’t extract myself.
Yet.20140425-180419.jpgA couple of nights before that it had been a childhood home, passing through the kitchen and my mother making dinner and instructing me on how I should go out and do all the right things to get this man, to hook this rich guy already and get myself taken care of, fer chrissakes.
He is waiting for me outside, this guy. A producer I know – bit of a hot shot.
He is just up the street, and is impatient there in his fancy car, a sports convertible – he wants me to hurry up and get in the car.20140425-180350.jpgI am annoyed at being hurried.
All I want to do is play in the mud…20140425-180521.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – Letters

Easter Sunday Interlude

A few words from T.S. Eliot today –

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness
on darkness, and we know that the hills and the trees, the distant
panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long
between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness
deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious
of nothing—
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without
love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the
dancing.

And a link to some beautiful animal images by Hua Tunan, including a bunny…
splatter bunny

Happy Season all <3

April Showers & a Monumental Symbol

Dearest Blog-Friends,

Over the past few weeks I’ve heard privately from a few of you, asking me where I am, why I am so quiet…colour, feet, stumbleI hadn’t realized I was being quite so quiet as to draw attention to myself, but there you have it.  Things have been a bit overwhelming in my world, much much stuff going on.colour, cross, crowdApparently there is a Grand Cross forming in the sky (planets opposed to and squaring each other, like a big monumental Easter hologram in the heavens), producing a lot of stress, pressure and change for a lot of people.  Seems I am one of ‘em.colour, close on young manMeanwhile, one of the things I’ve been tinkering away with, slowly here and there, is trying to get another site going, just for photos.  I’m thinking to make Follow Your Nose a bit more of a writing / musing / iPhone space, and to make the other site, KathAphoto, a place for more finished photography.
It’s still new, still taking shape, just a couple of posts up, but I’m hungry for any kind of feedback, of course, so if you’d like to stop on by at some point, I’d be most grateful.
And for now, some more old scans, of Easter, of that monumental Christian symbol, in other lands -
colour, 2 in a rowHope to be more vocal soon
Mucho affection
Happy spring
Kat
colour, wide of streetWeekly Photo Challenge – Monument

Threshold

Threshold of the subway doors, humans and hints of animal beyond – wolfman on subwayThreshold of a slinky bus, during a morning commute, he studies his phone, bathed in light – 20140406-193526.jpgThreshold of a cliff, of the lake, of the edge of the city, of the transition from urban neighbourhoods to the wild beyond – 20140406-193632.jpg
Threshold of a smile, of the beginning of life, of nascent love…20140406-193701.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – Threshold

Abandoned Photos

runner, truckThey’ve been sitting in a folder in the basement, old old work prints that never quite got finished, and are here scanned. I’m thinking to join a local photo co-op so I can scan some of the old negatives and revisit them, give them some love, resuscitate them from their state of defunctedness.boy w fridgeThey are moments of abandon, in different meanings of the word – a moment of wild running abandon; an abandoned fridge and perhaps child as well; and losing oneself to the abandon of sleep…sleeperWeekly Photo Challenge – Abandoned

Three Hearts – alleyway art evolving

art in the alleyIn the alleyway just down from my house, there’s the expected graffiti on the garage doors, but more unusual are the bits of installation art that appear.
This one of the heart has been most striking.
It began on one side of the alley, on a kind of plywood sliding wall, and has morphed over time, its paper images and fold-out doors peeling away in the weather, then magically sprouting new imagery in its centre.
After several incarnations on the plywood wall, one day it had been moved to the other side of the alley, near someone’s rear doorway. alleyway heartIt continues to evolve. The images continue to shift. Over time it’s become a highlight of the walk down the alley – to see what new elements have arisen in the night.
I’ve been thinking I must contribute to it at some point, adding some new element, some small sprinkle of love before we leave the neighbourhood.

20140225-113954.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – Three

Treasure Two

Over the weekend I was thinking about treasure, personal treasures, and I remembered this piece of stalactite from a cave in Spain, reminding me of a time and a place of beauty and freedom and adventure, and a person who was special to me, Seanna the American.
She was a bit of a wild thing, divorced (which seemed slightly exotic at the time) and living in Spain in a funky little house in a small town not far from our small town. She’d come visit now and again and she and my dad would have martini parties and laugh loud late into the night.
We’d gone to the caves together one day and before we left she bought this slice of stalactite from the guide and gave it to me as a gift, one that I’ve kept all these years, hanging in the window so the light will come through.stalactiteAnd taking photos in the afternoon sun, I noticed how this piece of orange calcite glowed so beautifully, a hint of gold to the orange, and was thinking actually maybe this was more of a treasure-looking thing -
orange calciteAnd turning it this way and that, trying to find the best angle, I heard a crash behind me -
kitty w featherAhhhhh, she’s at it again…
You see, treasure one lives in a box on the table in my room, and someone else seems fascinated with feathers.
She knocks the lid off the box, pulls the feathers out, throws them up in the air and licks them, leaving them scattered in a sodden mess around the room. kitty w feather 2One morning I woke up with a feather clutched in a fist and figured somehow in the night she must have brought it into the bed and it ended up in my hand…
Treasure indeed…
Weekly Photo Challenge – Treasure

Moons I have seen

In honour of tonight’s full moon and Valentine’s day, a revisit –

A cold full December moon cresting high over the Clinton schoolyard – staid brick building structures back lit with beams of moonlight, a few lone figures with dogs scuffling, breath in clouds in front of them, a faint dusting of white on the frozen ground.

in summertime the bats swoop down over this little round of track and trampled grass and soccer goalposts. In daytime the children shriek happily or protest the small devastating cruelties of their recess torments.

In the night with the moon bright, these daytime activities echo, ghostly.

In this city interior it is sometimes hard to distinguish the moon from a street lamp – a single globe like so many others – hard to believe the number of cultures that created a Moon Goddess out of this small frail lamp – almost an unremarkable phenomenon in the forest of lights.

A brisk February moon over the farm fields of southern Ontario – Ajax, Port Hope, whisking by in the night, the horn of the train calling out forlorn and hopeful at once, coming, coming, we are coming. As fast as the train goes, the moon does not move, the fields and houses are drowsy in her soft light.

A humid March moon low over the small town of shacks by the jungle – powerful single light of the night, illuminating modest wooden lean-to’s for homes, mud streets, the last tired men heading home after the long day to settle in before the monkeys begin to scream from their trees.

Late in the night when the moon is highest, laying a blue light over this little collection of shacks, only the skinny crazy woman is out – the  woman who went mad with grief, losing her child to one of those childhood illnesses afflicting only the countries closest to the equator.  She wanders in the night, sometimes silent, sometimes still wailing her grief to the unblinking moon, her body still young and beautiful under her rags, her tangled hair a glorious matted mane of dark waves. Tragedy incarnate, the beauty, the insanity, the youth, the grief, the potential, the loss.

The big river is not far.

A singular star-effacing June moon over the playas del este just outside of Havana – a beam of clarity on the ruins of dreams and hopes of generations past – rubble that used to be construction, vacant chicken joints that used to be dreams of prosperity, empty lots that once had been valuable property along the beach.  The most undeveloped, unspoiled and unloved stretch of fine white gleaming sand.

We walked, my new love and I, along the beach, my hand in his, contemplating together the empty shadows of lives unfinished, the dreams of futures never realized, the beginnings left hanging, suspended, abandoned.  The moon held us in its light, showing us the path, a way along the dark beach by its light.

A sharp glaring mystical eye of a moon over the October desert mountain stretch – a penetrating gaze in a landscape that offers nowhere to hide. The mountains present themselves stark dark ochre against the dark blue sky like a childrens’s book of cutouts. Pink highways push northward. Whiffs and shadows of the cultures of the plains, the great warriors, the visionaries, people of power, shimmer around the edges of shrubs, speed limit signs and gas pump exits.

A hazy unreliable November moon watching the square and the streets of Coyoacan, nudging its light into the patio and the windows of the casita azul, empty and haunted. Amidst the teeming millions, the frankly frightening overwhelming labyrinthine megacity, still the nights give themselves to the snaking rising mist of the ghosts of the old souls, the departed, the ancients, the history of the city. Even outside the throbbing discotheques, the shining towers of business and industry, the ancient layers of the Aztec breathe out their pustulent breath until the rays of the sun break the spell yet again, and all manners of ordinary activity return.

A massive May supermoon rising engorged and heavy, menacing as it looms over the city, heaving itself above the downtown highrises and slowly propelling itself up into the sky. In the park, people are stopped silent and clustered, staring, pointing, cel phones out taking pictures of the big ball in the sky over downtown.

I wander the paths of the park, alone with my phone, frustrated at the paucity of the images it’s able to capture of this monstrous moon.  Still, I pace back and forth, stalling, biding time, watching the moon climbing up the sky, waiting out the hours with my heart in my hand at the edge of the park, the street, the sirens, the moon, as my love – no longer new, now a fumbling, faltering marriage – is packing his bags, getting his belongings together, and leaving.

Photo note – usually I use my own photos, but most of these (save the one immediately above) are found from various places on the internet.  However as they were largely not credited where I found them, I have left them without credits here with apologies.