That encounter with the old man percolated through my mind throughout the past few days. His presence and his enthusiasm as well as his lust for life made me think about my life and my enthusiasm. It made me think about the opportunities I’ve taken and the ones that got away. How long should I dwell on that? Not too long. If I dig deep enough I come to the conclusion that I haven’t lived life in a bubble I jumped in. I haven’t done all that I wanted but I’m not giving up on it. Each cut adds a line to the tattered mat. It’s had so many cuts that now it has developed a bow and it appears to have bubbled up as if congealed after heating. It still has its purpose to protect the desktop from damage. Each cut is smooth with a sharp tip. My hand steady with each successive cut as a square or rectangle around the picture is removed from the page. Small squares to large rectangles and wavy curves around shapes. All the different ways to extract an image from a page.
I’m doing something old school. Something that’s clean in a digital age cutting and (not yet) pasting. A cascade of images and faces, places that are yet to be seen others experienced already. Moments from which I was far removed but that had an effect. Arguments closer to lies by the actors that presented them and then the aftermath of tears and questions. It’s a strange world when looked at through these pages. The virtual world is stranger still.
As these images pass moment by moment they coalesce around themes, dramatic ones at that. They are tragedies and comedies that morph into mythological characters like some symbolic imagery representative of our times. Criminals are always presented in a particular way as are our political leaders. Women are always young and fetching, starlets out for attention at least that’s how they are presented. Nothing better than a titilating picture of a provocative pose that’s safe for the newsstand.
Today this caught my attention as it reflects the ruminations that come from the mindless repetitive image removal I’ve been busy with. The headlines and the characters that have created them seem to be playing roles that have obfuscated the Truth if there really is such a thing in politics anymore. As the article says “facts don’t really matter” it’s what people believe to be true that matters. This sort of thinking leaves the public vulnerable to manipulation.
So on Sunday I turned to sports. First there was a tennis grand slam final. A Canadian kid was in the final and I watched and hoped that he would beat the hometown favorite but he ended up going out in straight sets. The match was a lot closer than that one broken serve and two tie breakers were the difference. The jitters could have been a factor as well as he was playing in his first final of his or any Canadian’s career.
Later on it was time for the Euro final. It was a match that looked to be set up for a fairy tale ending for the host nation especially once the Portuguese star player was injured at the beginning of the match. The French pressed at the beginning but their attack wavered and puttered as the game progressed. Finally in extra time a strike from distance beat the goal keeper handing the glory to the Portugese. It was a highly unexpected result.
My work continued throughout the games as well as the newsfeed that played all day long along with music from my weekly playlist. Some songs still resonate inside my mind “then I woke up one morning and didn’t recognize the man in the mirror.” This work of mine is voluntary and yet the compulsion to finish and do it all well motivates me to continue.
What jumps out at me is a feeling of classical literature from the Greeks. There is a certain sense of grandeur and tragedy, a sense of characters being larger than life. There are these old concepts that you learn about whenever you take a course in humanities. The old philosophers spoke about the way one should live. The old writers created soap operas based on gods and other lesser dieties whose characters symbolized something that they were worshipped for. All that fornication blending one characteristic with another like some kind of evolutionary perogative that still continues to play itself out.
This work continues on a smaller scale after I get back home from work. Each hour that I spend brings me closer to the end. The old man encouraged me to go for it not realizing that for me this is my motorcycle ride. I’d like to create something and this is the beginning of the process. It’s the acquisition of raw materials with which to move forward with. I made the connections of moving forward with a lot of things. The end date of my stay here in the UK, the decision to move to the praries, the forthcoming reunion and holiday with Ba(r)be. Soon I’ll be celebrating a birthday that signals the start of a new decade on this planet. The time here has been productive in ways that are not really apparent. It’s been good for me and I am encouraged with my own progress.