“They rebuild Ersilia elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their houses still farther away. Thus, when traveling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of the abandoned sites, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking a form.”—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Here’s part two of my series Interiors, stills and abstractions around the themes of domesticity, compression, and elsewhere, or the ways we inhabit multiple places through memory and imagination. (You can see part one here.) While I prefer street and documentary photography, I’ve been enjoying this little project very much. Not only has it been something different, but it’s also pushed me to think more about what and how I’m shooting. Who knows, I may be forced to work on part three if the rains stay this heavy and I can’t get outside to shoot soon.
The opening for this part comes from Galway Kinnell‘s poem “The Old Life,” which I love for being tender, but not sentimental.
THE OLD LIFE
The waves collapsed into themselves
with heavy rumbles in the darkness
and the soprano shingle whistled
gravely its way back into the sea.
When the moon came from behind the clouds
its white full-moon’s light
lightly oiled the little beach stones
back into silence. We stood
among shatterings, glitterings,
the brilliance. And now it happens
another lifetime is up for us,
another lifetime upon us.
What’s left is what is left
of the whole absolutely love-time.
A recent spell of illness and days of heavy rainstorms, strong even for the rain-friendly Pacific Northwest, have lately kept me indoors and looking inward. Contending with this imposed domesticity are the ways we inhabit, through imagination, multiple places simultaneously. And it’s with this compressed vision that I attempt something different with a new series, Interiors. These lines from Philip Levine‘s poem “The Music of Time” seem a good opening for part one.
can go back to my single room,
I can lie awake in the dark
rehearsing all the trivial events
of the day ahead, a day that begins
when the sun clears the dark spires
of someone’s god, and I waken
in a flood of dust rising from
nowhere and from nowhere comes
the actual voice of someone else.