Beneath #writephoto

Beneath

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The ancient oak ponders unfathomable tales; near the bank, the shallow water reflects the evening sky. A little further the small stones shine, enticing: come to us, stranger, we are worth more than gold… Soon the sun will sink, behind the hills. You observe, immobile, waiting. Your steed, warped in your Lord’s colours, is as still as you. Silent dwarves guard your precious luggage. This is your land, and the lake is where lived  the mage, he who knew how to read your future.

Crossing #writephoto

Crossing

crossing

 

The shallow, clear water runs lazily between the rocks,

and the little islands of green life.

Oft we crossed the old bridge,

On our many walks, through this blessed land,

Observing, and being observed,

by creatures far more ancient, and wiser, than us.

Oft, we looked at our reflections in the mirror below.

Only, now, we only see the light of the sky,

for our images have been erased.

 

writephoto

Splash #writephoto

Splash

splash

 

We loved the sound of the big stone falling into the clear water, we loved the endless ripples, afterwards, in the little pool. The light reflected on the sharp green ferns, the fresh grass, as the whole nature spelt: Spring!

We were young, we got wet, we looked at our reflections, as if our future would suddenly appear, as the water surface went back to a calm mirror.

Sometime we saw shadows, behind our smiling faces, as if ghosts awaken by the splash had come up to check who dared disturb the peace…

Neophyte #thedailypost

Neophyte

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The streets are empty, and rain starts falling. Some windows are lit, high up the tall buildings. Fallen leaves fly in the wind. Slowly he begins to hear the voices of the city. He has so much to learn: the geography of those unknown spaces, where the wall once stood, the secret boundaries, what was once the East, what is still the West, the ancient churchyards, the parks, the statues.

He listens to the voices, far away. He walks, he writes, he speaks to her. She says: “you have to forget what you learnt: this is different, you are on the other side of a mirror, you have to start again, and you cannot guess…”

Eye #writephoto

Eye

eye

 

I know I stopped near the river, and I waited. I waited for you, as I admired the bridge, and its reflection, slowly captivated by the ripples on the surface of the water. When did I arrive here? How long ago was it? I only know that the colours of the leaves changed at least once. And, always, the ripples, hardly disrupting the peace.

Will you come, or have you decided it was time to leave, to leave me to this world, to the flow of time? Is this perfect oval the Eye of destiny, observing me, as I observe the river?

Green #writephoto

green

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt 

She filled her lungs with the fresh, pure air of the forest. At her feet the little stream flowed, silent, mirroring the foliage of the trees and the clear sky. The entrances of the tunnels were surrounded by lush vegetation.

Her feet were in the water, a delightful feeling, and the sun was warm on her skin. She felt revived, born again. She’d never felt so close to the ancient world, soon she would know whether the prediction was right: she only had to follow the stream and starts her journey between the ancient walls…

Still she had a choice to make: there were two entrances, and she knew they did not both lead to the temple. The oracle had said she would know which one to chose. She looked up beyond the green canopy, some creature had stirred high above, hidden from view. Then she saw the little bat, who quickly disappeared through one of the arches…

Reflections in a Mirror #WritersWednesday

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We retrace our steps, without intention, it just happens: suddenly we see ourselves, there at that terrace, one evening, or there, along those walls, pushing our bikes. It’s later at night, and the Neue Gallerie is not yet closed, we meet there, in a concert of bright lights and laughter.

That was three years ago, then it was Spring; how fast time goes in this City? Those ghosts are us, or perhaps, we have become them. We know those streets, we can follow our shadows. They, us, look at us, interested and tender, those younger faces, ours, so familiar, now observing us from the other side of the mirror.

But which side are we in?

 

Photo: inspired by the beautiful blog https://streetberlin.net/, street photography. berlin.  kulturforum. 2016 © martin waltz

Companion #TheDailyPost

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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You follow me everywhere, awake, on the long walks through the valleys, and the lazy summer evenings, at night, in the deep, dark dreams of lost kingdoms and evil wizards… You know my tastes, and you know how to ensure I know yours, this exchange as old as the tribe, our tribe, of dreamers, of wanderers, of lost boys.

I am yours, your dopplegänger, your ghost, your victim, when you want it that way. People who meet us see us as brothers, and we are not. For you can be everything, a brother, or a sister, my lover, or my tormentor.

For the devil who inhabits you will never, ever, leave me in peace. We will go to hell, together.

Image via silent-musings

Of Thanatos, Ansky’s Notebook and a City in the Desert, a #reading of “2666” by Roberto Bolaño

“Jesus is the masterpiece. The thieves are minor works. Why are they there? Not to frame the crucifixion, as some innocent souls believe, but to hide it.”

2066

“Now what sea is this you have crossed, exactly, and what sea is it you have plunged more than once to the bottom of, alerted, full of adrenalin, but caught really, buffaloed under the epistemologies of these threats that paranoid you so down and out, caught in this steel pot, softening to devitaminized mush inside the soup stock of your own words?”

Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Child in Berlin  -  David Bowie  1977

 

The geography is immense, as the novel meanders through the streets of Paris, Madrid, London or Milan, the ruins of Cologne after the war, the snows of the Austrian border, Venice, Hamburg, the Crimean peninsula, the dark forests of Rumania, Mexico City, and, inevitably, Santa Teresa, the industrious and sinister city in the Sonora desert, still vibrating from the visit of the Savage Detectives.

Is Hans Reiter a reference to the war criminal of the same name? Does the writer’s name, Benno von Archimboldi, hide a deeper meaning? We follow four academics, German literature specialists, united by their obsession with the shadowy writer, Archimboldi. They read, visit each other, Mrs. Bubis, the publisher of Archimboli’s books and his lifelong friend, and try to discover who the writer really is. Their quest finally takes them to the city where girls and young women are butchered by one (of several) sadistic murderers.

Amalfitano, the critics’ host in Santa Teresa, reflects on death and his reasons to have moved o the city, from Spain, where his daughter, Rosa, was born. As he observed the treaty of geometry, hanging upside down from his washing line in his backyard, swept by the desert’s winds and dust, the scholar fears for his daughter, in a city where they kill girls like sparrows. Fate, the reflective journalist from New York, who travels to Santa Teresa for an article on a boxing match, when he is in fact no sports writer, befriends Rosa, and travelled back to New York with her, away from her father and the malediction of the city.

The endless narrative of the murders, spanning four years, unresolved and the investigation of which is plagued by incompetence, corruption and neglect, after all, most of the victims are poor girls working in the sweatshops of the city, or whores, or both, takes three hundred pages of the novel, a harrowing and at times monotonous read. Finally, Klaus Haas, a German-American citizen, is arrested, probably wrongly, for some of the murders.

At long last, we meet Hans Reiter, learn about the house in the forest, the one-eyed mother and the one-legged father. Young Hans is fascinated by the sea and its forests. Unstoppable, the river flows to the beginning of the war. Hans is strong, foolishly brave, visibly with no fear of death. Drafted in a light infantry regiment he picks up an iron cross on his way to Crimea. On a short permission back to Berlin he meets Ingeborg, who after the war would become his wife. Severely wounded Hans is sent to the village of Kosteniko, on the banks of the river Dniepr. There the future Archimboldi meets his future career in a farmhouse that belonged to Boris Ansky’s family, before the village jews were massacred by the Einsatzgruppe C. Hans discovers Ansky’s notebook, the story of an “enemy of the state”, witness of the horror, soldier of the revolution, and genial writer under another man’s name.

Fifty years later, Klaus Haas, son of Lotte, Hans’s sister, is in jail, his trial postponed. Finally Hans, now eighty, and a possible Nobel-awarded writer, visits Santa Teresa, closing the loop.

The book closed, we must read again, as we must reread “Q”, or Gravity’s Rainbow, or the Man Without Quality. In the end we know that Sisyphus trumps Thanatos, even for just a few years.

Image: Child in Berlin  –  David Bowie  1977

Of Fred and Sarah, #quote from Julian Barnes “Levels of Life”

Sarah Bernhardt photographed by Félix Nadar 1865The next evening, he watched her performance, came to her dressing room, and saw many of the same faces. He made sure to pay proper attention to Mme Guérard: having been in foreign courts before, he knew to recognise the power behind the throne. Soon – much sooner than the fiercest optimism could have imagined – she came across, took Barnaby’s arm, and bade her coterie goodnight. As the three of them left, the scrimmage of Parisian dandies took care of not to appear put out. Well, perhaps they weren’t.

From Julian Barnes, “Levels of Life, On the Level” (© Julian Barnes 2013)

Image: Sarah Bernhardt photographed by Félix Nadar 1865