Summer: Millmark Grove   Leave a comment

I barely felt it. A soft, new change in the stiff yellow air. Invisible splash of calming cool slowly brushing my clouded body, cold like the brush of ocean surf. It lands on the tip of my skin and swirls around my knees, inundating the sticky afternoon with the soothing peace of a breeze. The golden dust fades into clear black night and I watch from my window as air-conditioned cars cruise by. A loose manhole makes the same noise, an anticipatory thud like the bolt on a heavy door, opening and shutting as visitors and passengers drive through my neighbourhood. As night grows, the whiz of the tires crescendos as the number of cars decrease, louder sounds for a silent space. I lean forward and fling the curtains wide, breathing in the discrete movements of the wind, feeling it touch my chest and rustle my hair. This is summer on Millmark Grove.

Advertisements

Posted July 19, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized

The Zapruder Film   Leave a comment

How many people have seen the Zapruder film, I wonder as lightening crackles white across the sky.  And how many have seen the horrifying agony on Oswald’s face as Jack Ruby burst forth from the mass of grey suits and fired into the supposed assassin’s gut?  The words spoken on the fatal days. Cronkite removes his glasses as he announces that President Kennedy has died at 1pm in Dallas, Texas, “some thirty-eight minutes ago.” The newcaster’s continuous cry following the pop of Ruby’s gun. “He’s been shot. He’s been shot.  Lee Oswald has been shot.” The other moments, before and after, that are now emblazoned on the soul of America.  Jackie’s knees on the trunk of the limousine, hand outstretched to assist a secret service officer to climb into the car.  The chaos of stomping feet and vehicles speeding throughout Dealy Plaza.  Johnson’s solemn face on Air Force One, beside a blood-stained Mrs. Kennedy, hand raised to accept the office so recently vacated by heinous bullets.  John Jr. standing beside his black-draped mother, small hand lifted to his brow in final salute.  Funny thing, I contemplate as the lightening continues, isolated momentary flashes, like cameras lining the fashion runway; the Zapruder film was a home-video, the grassy knoll a convenient space to film a parade, the day a sunny Dallas Friday.  How many people have seen the Zapruder film?

Posted July 19, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized

Walk   Leave a comment

I take a walk in Shoreditch. The street is dirty but the shop windows are full of chic clothes and patterned accessories, flair to decorate the greys and browns and blacks of the concrete and the tall glassy buildings. I move steadily, one foot declamatory and the other submissive, following myself I know not where. The small shops give way to the towers, private eateries to KFC and the conglomerate. Men in sleek suits brush past, extensions of the glinting sun bouncing off office windows and firm metal skeletons. A woman in a blue dress smacks my arm with her purse as she hurries past. I stop and look up, Lipstick and Gherkin lording over my small figure, cylinders of corporate business glistening in my squinting eyes.

I take a walk at night as well. The street is dirty and the street lamps have just turned on. Shadows invade the space of light, black stripes and lumps of darkness that jump out at my tired mind. There are not any cars tonight. Just silence and the moon and the sound of my flip flops thumping against the chapped soles of my feet. The rhythm of a drum, monotonous, as I walk and walk and dodge the shadow and walk some more. I look forward and it is as though I am not going anywhere, but simply moving to the best of my weary steps. Another street lamp. Another shadow. A grey-striped cat materialises from blackness. And I keep walking. Continuous walking.

Posted July 18, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized

Beyond   Leave a comment

His eyes twinkle as he recounts late night escapades and meeting a young friend for the first time on the island of Jersey.  Beer gurgles on the dark table and the lights flicker, blinking furtive glances at inebriated customers as the last ray of lambent sun stains the sky.  Darkness falls gradually, the our glasses glimmer by yellow candlelight, scarlet and amber luminescence, bubbling glass pillars of happiness.  I sit and he talks at me, riddles and generic factual banter, words I hear and respond to but with no understanding.  My understanding awaits tomorrow, the beginning of uphill battles and a courageous pursuit.  My face is like a mirror, reflecting the emotions of engagement back at him while my still straight mind continues unaware.

We leave the bar and saunter along the empty sidewalk, darting across the tarmac, charting the path from concrete to asphalt to romantic couple kissing at the bus stop to drunken debris spilled upon the ground.  He warns me of the future and of loneliness, and I learn once again the terrible truth, that mankind rarely persists, but clings to a temporary security rather than loyalty.  The farther we travel, the more piercing each streetlamp becomes, artificial poisonous light violating the serene ebony of nighttime.  We climb a hill and part ways, his smile lingering on the other side of the street as I walk home.  Standing at my front door, turning my circular key, I am glad I must pursue more than a temporary security.  I am glad my adventure stretches beyond a momentary escapade.

Posted July 16, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized

Forward   Leave a comment

For a moment I sat and fixed my empty eyes on the barren wall before me because I didn’t know how to look at anything else.  Possibility crowded by desk; it was stacked alphabetically on top of my bookshelf and draped over the musty wooden chair sitting in the corner.  Even the stagnant air of a cooped up apartment seemed suddenly and inappropriately rejuvenated, slithering past my nostrils towards some uneventful destination.  But I would have nothing to do with possibility for an hour or so.  It was the wall, the plain blemished wall, the wall of threats and hard work silenced and irreversible mistakes pounding on the mind with harsh persistent strokes. Like a man flat against the ground who cannot rise because he does not have the strength, he has forgotten how to walk, and he is so hypnotized by the sky that he does not remember he is lying down.

After a few minutes, my mind returns and the wall slowly fades into the distance.  The present looms frightening before me, but it is no longer an impossibility I refuse to look at. I can feel the erosion of hard work in my heads, dripping to the ground in nasty ink-black streams.  It eats away at the stones beneath my feet as I turn to the computer screen flickering for my eyes attention, blaring the silent ultimatum. If. Never. Exclamation mark.  But then another phrase whispers in my ear.  It says danger is no reason to withdraw from possibility.  Suddenly, everything I read reminds me that, even when solid ground disappears, the only way to move is forward.  I turn, and the sky is blue and bright and speckled with white clouds.  And so I look at everything else, and the colors sing.

 

 

 

Posted July 16, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized

Chapter One   2 comments

Today I forgot to close the creaky metallic elevator door for the last time.  I rode up to the third floor eager with dread, happy to be back in the office I had grown to love but acutely aware this was my final day in that office. It was the last day I would get to sit down at my white conference table desk, eat my smoked salmon Pret a Manger sandwich, and look out the window at Horse Guards and Big Ben while I waited for my finicky laptop to stop thinking and start operating.  Immersed in contemplating these final moments I would experience,  I left the elevator wide open, like a grateful child who forgets to thank his grandmother for a precious gift.  It seemed quite trivial in the moment, but whoever was waiting to ride up next undoubtably felt the impact of my absent mind.

As I spent the day clinging to every interaction, trying to drink in the atmosphere and the personalities around me until I had convinced myself they would never leave, time slowed as if succumbing to my wishes.  By 3pm I was fairly certain that things would continue as I wanted them, unaltered and enriched, consistently secure.  Yet time continued.  By 6pm, the things had ended.  As I returned to the elevator, a plethora of thoughts flooded my mind, each one in the form of a hesitant question. What happens next? Where do you go from here?  Chapter one was in it’s final paragraph and the novel must have been a mystery, because chapter two appeared foggy and dark and dangerously unclear.  Yet, as I lay in bed later on, reading The Great Gatsby, I realized something.  The last paragraph of chapter one is not merely a conclusion, it is the preface to the opening paragraph of chapter two.  And so, as I lie here about to fade into dream, I hear the metallic elevator door I closed hours earlier as I left the office.  But in my head, I don’t hear a door that shuts.  I hear a door that opens.

And chapter two begins.

 

Posted July 15, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized

the Sacred Moments   Leave a comment

Yesterday was not a particularly special day. I woke up, stumbled into the shower, fumbled with my keys as I tried to lock the door. It was the process of going through the motions yet again, maintaining a routine that has become become so regular I barely think about it anymore. I don’t even have to think about waking up at 7:30am; my internal alarm clock does it for me. As the day progressed, moments began to stand out to me. There were jokes among friends, sincere conversations about the future, concern for the present, reflections on the past. A pigeon flew by the classroom window and caught us in a fit of laughter. Someone proposed an American marriage of convenience. It was a good day, nothing special, but pleasant and entertaining. Later on I went to Brixton for a brief meeting. As I emerged from the rugged old pillared building where the gathering was held, I casually took a picture of the courtyard to prove I had been there. Photography is addictive. Soon I was wandering throughout the garden, kneeling and twisting my camera trying to capture the foliage from diverse perspectives and vantage points. I was brought back to the joy of a picture, the ability to freeze a specific moment in time and remember it forever.
In one of the last dramaturgy classes I had as an undergraduate, my professor and I discussed the sacredness of the moment. During that photo shoot, immersed in a garden of possibility, I had the conversation again. Only this time it wasn’t simply a discussion of words, it was a discovery of a way of life. Yesterday was a particularly special day. Every day, every moment has the potential to be phenomenal. Many have written about this, but I believe Thoreau put it best: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” And if one embraced every moment with the utmost sincerity? What a lifetime that would be.

Posted March 13, 2014 by TVest in Uncategorized