Friday, October 10, 2008

Fooling around...

I thought I would fool people and illustrate the apparent expectation of a sunrise for 'The Most Splendid Day!" by giving you a photograph for a header of a starry night. It is so beautiful, that I could not resist it and the contradiction. It reminds me of Van Gogh's Starry Night, of course, but I don't think the curators of his museum would appreciate me using it as a header.

Isn't this a lovely photograph, though, and I wonder where it was taken? I am assuming in some Scandinavian country, but I could be wrong. I had to crop it a bit to make it fit, but the most important elements are there. Imagine sitting on a bench in that garden and watching a sky filled with that many stars. It would make your head spin, even if you weren't drinking a hot toddy or some warm mulled wine. I very much would like to transport myself to that place and spend several hours there.

I suppose that is what photography is all about. To create the desire in you to be there where the photograph was taken. If there is mystery in it, we want to unwrap that, and if there is beauty in it, we want to absorb it. We want to be where the photographer has been and capture that moment that he has captured on camera in person. It makes you have a feeling of homesickness to see beautiful photography, because very often you have a feeling of recognition with the place depicted and you think to yourself, I need to go there. The desire is great and you can't stop looking at the photograph of it.

We want to see with our own eyes what it is like to walk around there and to sit and stare and take in the sounds and smells and feel the textures of the walls and the fabrics and the trees and the grass. We want to walk on that ground and listen to those voices that are so different from our own, even if we won't understand a word of it.

I feel that way about Africa. I have all at once a great desire for it and a large repulsion against it. I want to go to Africa and feel the heat and inhale the dust and meet the people and listen to them talk, yet at the same time, I know that the poverty will oppress me and that the inequality will outrage me and that I will see much injustice.

I was in South Africa once and walked on the street where I as a white woman was a minority. Still, I was a privileged minority. I was not scared, but only curious and I wanted to talk to everybody, but I knew it was not done. The servants in the house we stayed at were not used to our liberal way of approaching them and were quite shy. We approached them as equals and wanted to know about them, but they retreated behind a smile and polite silence. They picked up after us and we could not drop anything on the floor, because it meant more work for them and we learned not to leave anything laying around.

We never got to know them and I don't think that the people who employed them ever got to know them either. There were two worlds living together separated by color. There was a status quo that was respected by both sides, or observed by.

I want to go to Africa and be absorbed by it and forget that I am a white woman, although I think it must be impossible. Maybe, if enough red dust were to settle on me, nobody would be able to tell the difference.


The Exfactor was here this afternoon. He came of his own accord after he told me yesterday that he would not come by, because we had seen each other that day. We talked for a while over several cups of coffee and I told him that because of my slumbering feelings for him, he could not be my caretaker anymore, because it would put me in an awkward position of being dependent on him and I thought it was unhealthy under the circumstances.

He agreed, but said immediately that we could still be good friends and that he would always want to come by and help me out with practical matters and that he didn't think he had to disappear out of my life and that he had no desire to, which leads me to believe that I still play some sort of an important role in the Exfactor's life and that he can't cut me off either.

So, we will be each other's friends, but he knows of my slumbering feelings and to tread gently. I told him that over time these feelings will change and that it is all new and raw now, especially with the divorce just being final. I think he does understand the importance of that event. The momentousness of it.

So, we parted as casually cheerful as we always do and I am sure I will see him again in the shortest amount of time when he comes to do his laundry.


My sister and I walked the dogs at noontime and for two people who are going through similar experiences, we sure had little to say to eachother. There is something standing in the way of us and I don't know what it is, but it is not something coming from me, that I am sure of. I would almost say that my sister has closed up around me and doesn't share certain things anymore, but I don't know why not. I am not going to break my head over it and will just continue on with my life as if there is nothing wrong and wait and see when the change of heart comes again, because one day it will. I am patient.


The Überhund is playing with Gandhi, but she is playing unfairly and is using her claws and the Überhund is very upset. He is laying right by her making begging noises and trying to get her to chase him. Gandhi is so cool and collected, she acts like she is the Queen and only disdainfully agrees to play with the Überhund to amuse him ever so slightly, but not too much.

I feel a terrible desire to go to Ikea and shop till I drop, but having no transportation I have no way of getting there. That leather sofa is still available there at that attractive price, but at this point I am unable to get it unless I go deeper into debt. I saw another attractive sofa somewhere else. It wasn't leather and will be just as much work to vacuum, but it sure was good looking. When I was hypomanic I thought of all sorts of schemes to get my hands on it. I would have sold my body for it, but I don't think I can make that much money and I wouldn't want to have to do it repeatedly.

So, I go on living with my old sofa, which needs vacuuming very often, because it is dark brown and every hair shows on it. Whatever made me think it was a good idea to buy it? Inexperience, of course.

Well, that's all the rambling you're getting out of me today. I will add some art, that you may or may not have seen already. I just can't keep track. It will beautify this post, though.

Have a wonderful rest of the day and make sure Billy doesn't get his hands on you and devotes a post to you and you alone.



aims said...

You've probably got my email by now - but I forgot to ask....

Who will be looking out for you now? Any idea?

John said...

"I want to go to Africa and be absorbed by it and forget that I am a white woman, although I think it must be impossible. Maybe, if enough red dust were to settle on me, nobody would be able to tell the difference."

I love it. A pure painting in words....

Baby Island said...

Oh that naughty Billy, I just read his blog right before yours! He said such nice things about you! They are all true you know.

I agree with John, your painting in words is unbelievable and beautiful!

Take care, we <3 you!

Maggie May said...

I'd forget the leather sofa. Just think what the cat's claws would do to it!
I think you are wise to keep the Exfactor as a friend as he will be most useful to you & I think he is very fond of you too.
Just hang in there with your sister, I am sure she is just going through a phase.
Things work out in the end.
You have a wonderful knack of writing down ordinary things and making them sound really interesting.
Africa..... well there is always a problem there. Maybe helping from afar is the most that any of us can do.
Have a really good day, Irene X

Maureen said...

Wonderful visuals as always, Irene. I do so enjoy your stories. You should write more about your time in Africa!

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