Prompt idea by kashafS
The morning was cool and fresh, the ground still damp from the rain, the night before. Once again we stopped and look at the gentle curves of the Downs: a farmer had recently cut the hay, crows were surveying the valley, in philosophical and not too assertive flight.
In some fields poppies peppered the wheat, no excessive chemicals here, this is man and nature attempting to reconcile themselves. I was following your silent steps, both of us deep in thought.
Why should we leave all this, for a summer in the city?
… Is not of this world, they say, but we know that perfecting is!
So this project of ours won’t work as we conceived it, but this can be fixed: it’s called flexibility, and a sense of adaptation! Nothing is more difficult than moving to a new territory, having to relearn, and forget some of the “truths” we know. Here, we must quit our prejudices, and look forward.
So we revisit our initial thoughts, what we believed to be the right way and proved to be misplaced. It will take longer, cost more – ah the depreciation of sterling! – and be more rewarding in the end. Along this path full of obstacles and traps, we proceed, methodically, cautiously, as if in a minefield.
Sometime, expectations, those of the buyer and those of the seller, cannot be matched, so a little navigation is necessary: perfecting the deal takes goodwill, a favourable wind, and patience…
Image: Odilon Redon, La barque mystique
Prompt idea by wittywheelz
The rain falls, ceaselessly, ruining the roses, saturating the mild air of a rotten English summer… Soon we’ll be able to grow rice in the garden, and forget about cutting the hay for weeks to come.
Yet the fight continues. We have to continue the search, avoiding the traps laid out by greed and stupidity. Not that the outcome will change much. “They” will still be there, with their pump and ceremonies, their tax vultures, their “experts”, and, of course, their oligarchs masquerading as politicians, or is it the reverse?
Yet we have hope. I know the City awaits us, observing, amused, the signs of struggle…
Image source: norsestore.com
Prompt idea by Journey of Roo
I know, this is frustrating: we thought we just made it, and then, disappointment.
But we will succeed, have no doubt. We want to get there, at the right place, on time.
The City knows us, she’s just making herself hard to get, who would not?
Lovers have to be patient, show their pain, but never give up. We won’t.
The old canal laughed in its beard… Remember when the rain drenched us, the little café, the trees in the park.
She’s waiting for us too, watching how we try, in pain, but with such understanding…
Today I said farewell to the woods we love so much: a storm was brewing, the distant hills masked behind a thin mist.
So green is this land, so mysterious the mausoleum, so silent the path that dwindles its way to the shore…
Yet once we have gone, we will still be haunting this land, invisible, so quiet even the birds will think it is a mistake: in truth, we will walk the streets of the city, holding on the tenuous link between now and yesterday…
How long is Now?
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We have waited so long, and now, we are here: this is our playground, the tree-lined streets, the old canal, the lovers on the crumbling benches… Silent, beautiful walls smile at us, radiating a warmth perceptible only to those who have penetrated the city’s secret…
We shall dance in the street, naked, your hair flying in the sunshine, your feet only licking the ground, light as a cloud. We shall drink, and dance, and drink more, and sleep.
The light will flood our room, we will hear the far away tumult of other beings, the faded sounds of machines. Step by step we will walk back in time, everything more luminous, old songs resonating around us.
This is our playground, a place to live, to love, and die.
Photography: Roses bordering the Luisenstadt Canal, Berlin Kreuzberg, © 2016 Honoré Dupuis
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The city is still divided by the river, there was the western enclave, the window shops, the traffic, the benevolent cops – here, on the eastern side, well, was a different world.
The reason why I am here, is precisely to track any clue that may remain, from that other age, any testimony of what it was really like. The wall has gone, but the river is still there, and the treasure island, at the fork. The two worlds now coexist, with boundaries no longer guarded, but not entirely removed either.
There is something in the air, perhaps a different pace of life, a different look in the eyes of the young women I watch, I, old relic of the Cold War…
Image: Alfred Lichtwark, Berlin: Verlag von Bruno Cassirer, 1922. Via the-two-germanys
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Since their land was so inhospitable to foreign eyes, they retained their freedom longer than those tribes whose territory the predators desired, and plundered. Little did the invaders knew that the old prophecy had been tested: they were imposters, their creed a fraud, their ignoble brutality a sign they were of inferior stock to the tribes that knew the Peaceful Way.
So they survived the Castillans and their priests, the Anglo preachers who knew nothing of their culture and kept kidnapping their children, in the futile hope to convert them, and now the flow of tourists, ignorant, sun-burnt and fat, and ever so friendly. Yet they flourish, on the same land, now spared the threat of raiders, with better healthcare, a rewarding trade, and still, their incomparable freedom.
Image: The Medicine Man, John Moyers, 2007, oil on canvas, Tucson Museum of Art
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Down South is your secret garden, and I hold the key,
Thus, I live in fear, of the jealous gods, of the cruel demons,
For they cannot approach the magic gate:
You can imagine their fury, they cannot suffer
To see this simple mortal, enjoy the
Forbidden fruits, all the way,
Image via mennyfox55
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(S)he follows me everywhere: in these pages, at the gym, at the supermarket, on the long walks on the Downs, in airports, in the canyons… His – or her – face has changed a little in time, but not that much. It may have been someone I knew, long ago, or just the sum of many people, met here and there, in crowded stations, at school, on the battlefield: who knows?
(S)he haunts the cities I visit, seeking inspiration. It’s always about her/him. And (s)he knows it, revels in it, who could be more important than her/him, the character at the centre of everything this fool writes?