Tuesday, 21 October 2008

River Geography

Parts of the city begin to make sense to me. I relax into my own sense of bearings. I sense my street body language subtley shift from some (probably transparent) affectation of orientation to actual orientation. There is a satisfaction here, a kind of validation for a decision to see fewer places and to know them in some sense, over passing through many and not really knowing any of them at all.[1] 

At the same time there is a sense of loss too, as ‘my generation’ of hostel friends gradually depart, I am left more properly in my real context, essentially living alone with the few fine folk I have met who reside and exist here day to day. One month in, some phase passes through to another.

I’m aware that Buenos Aires is civilisation for those who have travelled from the north to the south (from Bolivia or Peru for example). Though new in so many ways I am experiencing something of a gentle introduction. Nonetheless it is an almost an equivalent shock to realise how quickly this familiarity finds me.

A few of the tricky questions creep in. What have I left behind? What exactly am I doing here? What is my purpose? Or the very quiet one at the back...What do I do when its done? I came here to travel and work. So slowly, as the shock of the new recedes, I find my head opening up in the evenings, as the beginnings of possible works come to me - works that will necessarily have to adapt to my humble environs and means, but works nonetheless….As if the city has been an enormous swell of river around me this last month; a river that has just begun to freeze over and I’m tentatively wondering if I can now skate on it a little. [2]

[1] One is ultimately a stale mate reflecting a certain lack of ambition or curiousity (in travelling terms) and the other is ostensibly a list of locations whose ambition defies any real sense of culture or experience. I suppose I only mention it out of a desire to acquire some kind of harmonious balance between the two.

[2] These times are curious because they are never willed. If I set time aside for ‘work’ I ultimately sit in the vacuum of my own silence and doubt for that allotted time. If however I set myself the task of falling asleep, then occasionally it will come, with all the ambivalence that that entails. (When that time precedes a day’s work I suffer an almost inseparable feeling of excitement and dread. It usually manifests itself in a comedy of lights going on and off, covers being flung around and pens being picked up and put down on pages of illegible scrawl. I suppose here I have the luxury of time, a little time at least where these moments are not in parenthesis to the rest of your daily life).


yellow bear said...

Hello Guy!
Sorry I didnt find your message here until just now!
I'm not sure if you can become friends on here, more followers of a blog I think!
On somebodys blog page, somewhere near the top to the right there should be a link to "follow this blog" Unless thats not what you meant!
I'm really enjoying your writings, and your pictures on flickr also (yet meaning to comment).
Romania was amazing, i'm back there again in April and then again in August! more pinhole!
I need to get out here with the pinhole but these dark days are not helping, 5 minute exposures are tough when you are impacient with technology as it is!
anyway, stop ranting, hope you find this message!
Take care,
C x

snow white and rose red said...

How do we see your flickr account? really enjoying reading about your adventures. Looking forward to the next installment.

all our love SAF x x