Mr S is a creature of habit and oftentimes I abscond him, drag him away… He mumbles and grumbles until he realises that he’s quite enjoying the unexpected change of scene.
Me… I have an inbuilt urge to drive into the distance… I can easily imagine myself as the newspaper headline telling of the woman who vanished for 20 years after nipping out for a loaf of bread… Everyday when I arrive back home, I marvel at how that happened… At how I’m not chasing the sun over some distant horizon… I glance across at the homebody that I tethered myself to and pray that some of my habits rub off onto him once he retires… Who knows? For him, home is where the guitars are so maybe if I toss a few into the boot then he’ll get into the car without complaining… Who knows? The one thing I do know is that I have an uncanny ability to repress the urge to kill him and fortunately he likewise successfully refrains from dumping me into a shallow grave…
It’s been a while since I’ve written and my intention was to write about the photo I took a few weeks ago so…
I’d kidnapped Mr S, he grumbled (of course) but not for too long so the journey was short and soon we’d parked the car in favour of walking through the park. Heading back to the car, Mr S pointed out two large fairy rings in the grass. We ambled in the general direction and a girl who had been sticking to the path veered off as Mr S spoke and she headed to the nearest to her fairy ring. Mr S was already heading to the further one as he’d declared there was a break in the ring and an entrance to the circle.
I’d found a patch of clover to sit in and was mildly bullying Mr S to pose in various positions because I wanted to try out some technique I’d come across for taking full lengths photos, that involves turning your phone upside down. Mr S is neither a willing nor agreeable model and does not understand why anyone ever needs to take more than one photo… I tell him it’s kind of like always needing just one more guitar… He’s not convinced but he lets me take a few more shots…
The girl in the fairy circle is still there, though she is not actually in the circle but slightly outside and tracing her hand around the edge… She’s silent in a way that I find incredibly noisy…
How do I describe this? It’s something that I’ve observed a few times… Some kind of affectation? People who meditate in public spaces but make lots of body movements that make me think that they want people to see them being groovy… I remember going to Chalice Well for the first time and hearing ohm sounds… They were coming from a women sitting half lotus with her eyes closed but who kept surreptitiously opening one eye, like she was checking to see if people were watching her, like maybe she thought she didn’t actually exist or the ohm didn’t work if it wasn’t being observed by strangers… Anyway… I remembered this ohm woman as the silent noisy girl faffed in ways that distracted me from editing the photos I’d just taken and I thought fuck it girly, you want to be seen? I’ll make you the subject of my photo… I clicked, decided that I was happy with the first shot (maybe Mr S had a point after all) and I let my fingers loose to play and edit until I arrived at the photo at the top of this post… I glanced across and found that she’d vanished… I didn’t see her leave and neither did Mr S. A vast empty park and not a trace of her… My phone camera says I didn’t imagine her. Maybe she disappeared through the fairy ring…
I asked Mr S what he made of it… He told me that his dad used to often say a few words which he thought were maybe from a poem. He told me the words (though now I forget which ones) and asked me to Google… They were indeed from a poem. A poem which Mr S laughingly said was specifically written to go with my photograph…
When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be – John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.