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BTW: The photo art and prose included in any given post are separate creations having nothing to do with each other. Duality and such …
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There was a porch that sagged a bit in the center along the front of a modest old farmhouse down a quarter mile dirt lane that came through a cospe of oaks off a gravel road that stretched three miles back to a county blacktop, four miles from where it intersected from the two-lane state highway. And a narrow sidewalk made of twelve-inch concrete pavers had sunk deeper halfway along their path around to a screened-in back porch from which he emerged in the early morning carrying a metal thermos of coffee and a small basket with two apple cinnamon muffins fresh from the oven. Across the back yard and its slight depression back up to the timber where his worn path led another 30 yards up a slight rise and then down the other side to his little wooden Adirondack chairs arranged around a firebox. That he’d situated more than one chair in a place only he knew about, back in the woods behind a house where only he came, miles from a little town forgotten by the world, had not been an inconsistent decision. He would sit there in the morning, having escaped his agents and his commitments and come to an isolation where he could work and dream. And someday, so would she.
The coffee was heavy with cream and sugar and chocolate and his friends teased him it was less coffee than desert but it made him happy. He kept old newspaper with kindling along with heavier chunks of fallen tree limbs in a box close by and they ignited easily and soon his fire danced happy, though a chunk in the middle seemed too green and merely smoked stubbornly. He broke off a piece of sugary muffin; it melted in his mouth. Both muffins had fallen in the center, but he’d gotten good at mixing the ingredients and adding extra apple chunks, baking them up first thing out of bed in his robe and slippers, just like he’d gotten good at producing art, commercial and fine, for so many buyers. Just like he’d gotten good at the politic which cultivated the galleries and the magazines and the patrons that propagated his income. Just as he could open an imaginative vein from somewhere within himself and know, just know, how to create a work of art, the colors and textures or lack thereof, the unique perspective it needed, the vision that would pull each viewer away from their static and preconceived realities. And could do it again and again and again and always do it while working around the numb spot at the center of himself where he just couldn’t go.
She had gone so long ago, so far back in time, back at his beginning. He could only do what he could do because she had made him see where to find it. And then she was gone. And he had fallen, then climbed out, and climbed the ladder. And now he came back here and walked the path from the farmhouse to the little depression in the trees under the cool protection of constant shade engulfed by birdsong with his coffee and his muffin and the little fire he’d built dancing and sometimes, sometimes, he’d see her there, sitting in the other chair that no one else could ever sit in, sitting there as material as the fire, sitting there looking at him, smiling at him, stroking, not necessarily gently, that numb spot he was afraid to go to alone. And he wondered how he would actually feel if she came for real.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.