Monthly Archives: April 2016

Hills Road by night


Quel est pour vous…

Don’t look for, just look


Comment aimer un enfant - Janucz Korczak.

Sometimes the title of a book is what interests us, we tell ourselves we will read the book, we start...
not always at the beginning but we drop it.
We keep the book in a good place for months, for years and we feel a little guilty because the book has not been read.

Maybe it need not be read: the title is enough to set our thinking, to express our desire and somewhere in ourselves we do the rest.

The rare pleasure of a “real” letter


Today a letter arrived on the door mat, a real letter. The envelope looked as if it had been under severe weather or dropped in a puddle. Inside it was rather extraordinary, difficult to say what was a result of the elements and what had been colourful from the start!
There was a photo printed on the letter and it now looks more like an old photo coloured by hand, the colours having taken the freedom to make a rainbow all over the letter. Rainbow? A letter from the Gods? Almost, a letter from an uncle and aunt I like very much but last saw in the 80ies. They are quite old now and quite well! and every word of the letter is readable!



Rita; washington DC25aSNY


Wbrew wiedzy i naukom geologów,
kpiąc sobie z ich magnesów, wykresów i map –
sen w ułamku sekundy
piętrzy przed nami góry tak bardzo kamienne,
jakby stały na jawie.

A skoro góry, to i doliny, równiny
z pełna infrastrukturą.
Bez inzynierów, majstrów, robotników,
bez koparek, spycharek, dostawy budulca –
gwałtowne autostrady, nagłe mosty,
natychmiastowe miasta zaludnione gęsto.

Bez reżyserów z tubą i operatorów –
tłumy dobrze wiedzące, kiedy nas przerazic
i w jakiej chwili zniknąć.

Bez biegłych w swoim fachu architektów,
bez cieśli, bez murarzy, betoniarzy –
na scieżce raptem domek jak zabawka,
a w nim ogromne sale z echem naszych kroków
i ściany wykonane z twardego powietrza.

Nie tylko rozmach ale i dokładność –
poszczególny zegarek, calkowita mucha,
na stole obrus haftowany w kwiaty,
nadgryzione jabłuszko ze śladami zębów.

A my – czego nie mogą cyrkowi sztukmistrze,
magowie, cudotwórcy i hipnotyzerzy –
nieupierzeni potrafimy fruwać,
w czarnych tunelach świecimy sobie oczami,
rozmawiamy ze swadą w nieznanym języku
i to nie z byle kim, bo z umarłymi.

A na dodatek, wbrew własnej wolności,
wyborom serca i upodobaniom,
zatracamy się
w miłosnym pożądaniu do –
zanim zadzwoni budzik.

Co na to wszystko autorzy senników,
badacze onirycznych symboli i wróżb,
lekarze z kozetkami do psychoanaliz –
jeśli coś im się zgadza,
to tylko przypadkiem
i z tej tylko przyczyny,
że w naszych śnieniach,
w ich cieniach i lśnieniach,
w ich zatrzęsieniach, niedoprzewidzeniach,
w ich odniechceniach i rozprzestrzenieniach
czasem nawet uchwytny sens
trafić się może.

(Krakow, 2009.)

Wisława Szymborska


Despite the geologists’ knowledge and craft,
mocking magnets, graphs, and maps—
in a split second the dream
piles before us mountains as stony
as real life.

And since mountains, then valleys, plains
with perfect infrastructures.
Without engineers, contractors, workers,
bulldozers, diggers, or supplies—
raging highways, instant bridges,
thickly populated pop-up cities.

Without directors, megaphones, and cameramen—
crowds knowing exactly when to frighten us
and when to vanish.

Without architects deft in their craft,
without carpenters, bricklayers, concrete pourers—
on the path a sudden house just like a toy,
and in it vast halls that echo with our steps
and walls constructed out of solid air.

Not just the scale, it’s also the precision—
a specific watch, an entire fly,
on the table a cloth with cross-stitched flowers,
a bitten apple with teeth marks.

And we—unlike circus acrobats,
conjurers, wizards, and hypnotists—
can fly unfledged,
we light dark tunnels with our eyes,
we wax eloquent in unknown tongues,
talking not with just anyone, but with the dead.

And as a bonus, despite our own freedom,
the choices of our heart, our tastes,
we’re swept away
by amorous yearnings for—
and the alarm clock rings.

So what can they tell us, the writers of dream books,
the scholars of oneiric signs and omens,
the doctors with couches for analyses—
if anything fits,
it’s accidental,
and for one reason only,
that in our dreamings,
in their shadowings and gleamings,
in their multiplings, inconceivablings,
in their haphazardings and widescatterings
at times even a clear-cut meaning
may slip through.

translation Clare Kavanah and Stanislaw Baranczak

Bottled age and seeds


It’s growing


Striving to have μεράκι


Tulips in a vase, both beautiful and banal.
I wondered how to photograph them
A perspective from below to try to express the feeling of rising, growing even after they have been cut
The life that remains for a long time in bulb plants.
It did not look good, too much "contre-jour"
Keep them partly behind the curtain? Some element unseen always being more interesting.
Then the problem was the background, seing the house behind our house a sad very regular outline.
So take the picture from above?
The window became a problem, it really is not a pretty window and choosing a landscape format, it became more visible.
Then I thought to use the rather unsightly black rubber around those windows as if it was the black line that one was able to frame one's photograph with in the days of printing photos in the lab.
A favourite feature in Henri Cartier-Bresson's work, maybe to show the photos were never cropped.
Then the question: all around or not? The answer "not quite".

Striving to have μεράκι...

μεράκι (meraki): the word entered the Greek language from Turkish, but its meaning has evolved in Greek into a very complex concept of good taste, hard work and positive attitude towards hard labour.

Someone has meraki when that person is good at their job, when they do it dutifully and with great attention to detail no matter how hard it might be, without complaining, but rather enjoying and taking pride in it.

It can also be used in the sense of yearning.
Lost in Translation.

Declare your fragility


I opened a box of eggs and found one with this beautiful feather:
white and a gentle russet colour.
I put it on the window sill in the kitchen
I took a picture of the egg and the feather trying to catch something of the lightness of the feather.
It was leaning against weights which live on the window sill and I thought the small jam jar was nice too.
Looking at the picture, I saw the juxtaposition of the very light and the heavy and thought of moods,
what weighs on the mind and the choice of lightness.
I tried to make the contrast more obvious.


The next day I read an article by Ian Brown in which he quotes Jean Vanier
"If you want to live in hope and not fear, you have to tell the truth and declare your fragility."
It is always difficult to find a title and easy to borrow someone else's words, so I did.

from Jean Vanier: What we have to do is find the places of hope.

Uma dona lisboeta


Who are you beautiful statue behind grilles ? a writer ? A poetess ?
Are you trapped or are you free?
When I saw you I was struck by your beauty and took this picture,
but then I tried to make a portrait without the wires and I managed
but in the process your expression changed,
it looked more controlled, less thoughtful.
The quill became less visible and you became a tame lady with a book.
Now I prefer this picture
maybe you are not so tame
and this would be the reason for the grilles ?
Or do they make you feel safe to be less tame?