There is so much tragedy in the world. Though it has always been present, prevalent, stubbornly persistent, it seems alarmingly close now. Too close. For many of us in the west, the world seems to be edging closer to a deep, dark abyss—especially after the events of the past week, the month, the year. It doesn’t help that the season is turning, the darkness is lengthening and we can already sense the cold gaining strength. Will we be strong enough to withstand it?
In the icy face of grief and injustice, I must admit I am rendered speechless. I would like to explore—to fearlessly explore—this odd political and cultural landscape we find ourselves in at this precise moment. But I must devote more attention to it beyond my initial shock and confusion, which at the moment is frozen. Frozen on the senselessness of violent acts and those that enable them into perpetuity.
Since now is fading fast, I have tried to capture other feelings, other thoughts that wistfully, perhaps naively, desire to be in the foreground. Think of these pieces as tiny portals, autumn vignettes.
The evening is dark with a strong wind,
Orange leaves fly in spirals,
Fresh sprays of raindrops cling to the window and fade.
White noodles swirl in my bowl of broth,
Silk ribbons in the pungent steam,
I am grateful to be here.
In the daytime, we trudged outdoors in rubber boots,
across cobblestones studded with clear pools,
our pace glacial,
as the children cooed over especially bright leaves,
turning out too many to gather.
A few makeshift boats crossed with their curved sails.
Alone. But for a few witnesses, devoted and always curious.
I keep buying flowers in big bouquets
to fill all the rooms,
All our vases are filled, overstuffed.
Nothing lasts long.
Even dried stalks make an arrangement.
A dead tree branch I hauled in from the street
is hung with paper cutouts
of colorful leaves,
in its place,
where we strive to make a home.
Text and images by M.P. Baecker.