Saturday, May 23, 2009

Carousel: in an effort to forget less

Carousels for me rouse a nostalgia that is borne both of the iconic images of the ride, and by the personal memories I have associated with them.

When I was barely 13, a boy with a blond mohawk - who had recently burrowed his way into my young heart - and I went for a bike ride. It was a weekday afternoon. We rode from our school in the upper reaches of the city down the spine of Central Park. Not quite sure if we were on a date, we stopped at the carousel, enclosed in its brick facade as though the horses might run wild if there were no walls to prevent them.

Strangely the actors Danny DeVito and Rita Perlman were sitting on the nearby benches. They seemed trustworthy as we saw them on television regularly. We asked them to watch our bikes, which they agreed to, and we on our unsure date went to ride the painted ponies.

Years later in a short film I made, my father is riding a carousel in the south of France. It is three summers before he died. The image is indistinct and washed out, and he turns away from the camera just before I am able to adjust the focus. As the leader on the film runs out, it mimics the color of the horses. Red, orange, yellow, black in a blur.

Friday, March 6, 2009

the photographs I have not taken

On a recent work trip to Nicaragua, my still camera remained primarily in my bag, though my eyes remained open.

Photographs I did not take:

Two women cooking outside at night, I can only make out the edges of their forms behind the smoke that pours from the grill. They are laughing full belly laughs.

Shirtless boy-men washing rows of shiny minibuses in the late afternoon sun.

The young man and woman on the bus in front of me. They both wear the light blue starched uniforms of the National Police. She carries the infant, and he carries the diaper bag. I imagine that they never take their uniforms off. That they met in them, made love in them, conceived this child in them. One day I think, this child will wear the uniform.

Soft volcanic waters lapping at my legs, the wind wild through the trees, the strains of Galileo and his dark sky struggling to be seen in the moonlight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Slices of paradise

We crossed California, Nevada, and Arizona arriving in the dark at the tower on the Crawford's Garlic Farm in the paradisical town of Dixon, New Mexico. The snow on the garlic fields illuminated our way up to the stone and adobe tower.

This town has everything that one needs and nothing more. A river that runs through it, a righteous community radio station, a local library, a food co-op - entirely volunteer run, and a post office. Every other day we would take the 3 mile round trip walk to the library or co-op, feeding apples to the dalmation horse with the one blue and one brown eye, on the way.