Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Saturday, August 24, 2013

bostonia.

Every couple months, I take a walk in Boston for the day. Sometimes alone, and sometimes in company. I do what everyone else does: there's a reason we're all drawn to the same frequent places, the landmarks and the memorials. I don't mind so much being unoriginal in this regard. Nostalgia foments comfort.

Like so many eager young adults, I followed my gut to this city in my early twenties. It was about a boy, swimming over my head with the executive giants of industry, and working more hours to be paid more, only just to eek by.

I worked at a dinky little newspaper, where I was the minority: an uncompromising white female. When it boiled down to it, I didn't want to write that bad. Though, it was my first exposure to publishing, to the deadlines and bylines, and learning where bias and partisanship truly existed. It broke my heart, and chose the direction of graduate school instead.

What is nice about these walks now that I'm from Away, is that I can really appreciate Boston as an outsider looking in, rather than being immersed in the grind, or so plugged in to the point where one can't detach. I can enjoy the city in ways that I couldn't when I actually lived there, and can so readily see how I fell in love with such a place, as a kid on those daytrips with my mother to the MFA. It's like looking at Monet's lilies from the other side of the room, versus being up close and personal, where everything looks chaotic and splattered carelessly about.

I hadn't been back since the day after the Marathon, when I drove through the empty solemn city and felt how cold it could be with the glass and steel buildings pushing up to the grey-green sky like one grand mausoleum in my rear view.

This time was different. The air was warm, with a breeze that tunneled through the streets from the Bay, pushing up skirts and throwing ties over shoulders. Families were at their leisure. A couple discussing wedding plans on the steps of a church, as she let her feet rest and he held her hand. The little old man in evening slippers swearing under his breath in Italian, as he straightened his tomato plants against the high noon sun. And the stripped down children splashing around in the fountains and frog pond, because they can.

I could go on, because the day was so eerily perfect. And I even caught myself saying, Yeah, I could easily come back. But I know I won't, at least not to stay. But maybe that was always what it was in the first place: the romance of it all.

So, here are a couple of my favorite captured images instead:











 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

history repeats itself.

As we receive spurts of updates on the condition of Nelson Mandela (through our lovely, censored channels of mainstream media sources), I am reminded of how much grace one can possess in times of distress and adversity.
 
During Nelson Mandela's inauguration in 1994, he read a poem by Ingrid Jonker-- who Mandela described as a person like himself, who'd risen up for the people of South Africa and shouted FREEDOM!.
 
Her life was cut short at the early age of 31, when she walked into the icy Atlantic at Cape Town. Perhaps, she felt hopeless, or trapped, or saddened by the injustices in the world. Perhaps, she saw all the work that wouldn't be done in her lifetime.
 
We look back and see these people as martyrs who helped change/shape the world. But yet these issues still exist today: we still imprison those who speak their minds too openly, and for thinking something other than what is fed to us like our daily milk and grain. And the violence continues, at the hands of absolved individuals who brutalize and manipulate their ways to the top.

It's so easy to honor those who came before us with the words they spoke or wrote. But what if we were to put those ideas and beliefs into action? What if we actually went beyond ideology and didn't let history repeat itself? Now what kind of world would it be then?


two poems by ingrid jonker:

"be kind"

The child is not dead
The child lifts his fists against his mother
Who shouts Afrika ! shouts the breath
Of freedom and the veld
In the locations of the cordoned heart

The child lifts his fists against his father
in the march of the generations
who shouts Afrika ! shout the breath
of righteousness and blood
in the streets of his embattled pride

The child is not dead not at Langa nor at Nyanga
not at Orlando nor at Sharpeville
nor at the police station at Philippi
where he lies with a bullet through his brain

The child is the dark shadow of the soldiers
on guard with rifles Saracens and batons
the child is present at all assemblies and law-givings
the child peers through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers
this child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere
the child grown to a man treks through all Africa

the child grown into a giant journeys through the whole world
Without a pass

"i repeat you"

I repeat you
Without beginning or end,
I repeat your body.
The day has a thin shadow
and the night yellow crosses
the landscape without regard
and the people a row candles
while I repeat you
with my breasts
that reform the hollows of your hands