The amount of people: natives & tourists would make anyone dizzy—but she was not focused on the swarm—her gaze had landed on a stop sign, a stop sign that had become a perch for a bird. An insight began to form—the red of the stop sign topped with the red of the fat little bird—she could see how human red was halting and that nature’s red was pulsing with life, she could not see it from the distance at which she found herself—but she could feel that life expanding and contracting in the chest of that bird. The insight was becoming pure—nature’s red was about living and man’s red was about not dying. The insight was now a part of her—she did not care if others had had it before her or if she was the first—it was now just within her—making her newer—her body was aligning with her soul and she could feel it taking place—the moment—she was becoming a witness to herself.
The experience had prevented her from seeing the young man making his way through the dense crowds—his gaze firmly on her—never breaking, which made him bump into more fellows than needed be. The young man had made way through the bulk of the fleshy traffic and found himself not far from the object of his gaze—his own soul, so entwined with his body, kept him from following her gaze—he had no interest in birds atop signs. He continued to move confidently toward her. Her soul felt the approach of something serious and turned toward it—her body, lagging imperceptibly behind, caught up.
She was surprised and pleased to see the figure drawn to her. He was before her in a few strides—his pace did not vary at all—one would think he had counted out the steps beforehand—to come to rest at what was the perfect distance from her—just within reach of her, which he took advantage of—he reached out and took her arms in his hands—his gaze resting on her face. “I love you.” The words started an earthquake—that is why he had taken her by the arms—just to keep her from falling. The words became pure again—they became the ancient poem they had always been. The purity of the poem came from the truth that he had no interest in knowing if she loved him—his love was enough and her knowing it was all that he desired.
For the second time in a single day the gap between her soul and her body closed a little more.
Creative Director at ICONODULY and publisher at Horse Smith Press, see more of his proclivities here: http://on.fb.me/N3taM9
Self-portrait with Sam, 2001. Brandy Eve Allen.
About Brandy Eve Allen: I grew up in NYC and LA while also having spent time in Torino, Italy. All of these cities have played a part in my photography, whether it be aesthetics, the relationships I experience or my own personal exploration. I like to shoot what I know and what I’m trying to figure out whether it be with others or with myself. There’s a focus on intimacy, authenticity and a sense of isolation… along with a glimmer of hope from time to time. I shoot with film and process everything in my kitchen.
See more of her work here: http://brandyevephotography.com/
"Nothing much happens in Watteau’s paintings, aside from an endless round of flirtations, a grandly pleasurable buildup to pleasure or to the possibility of pleasure. There is also, however, a confounding or distracting or confusing of amorous signals, so that love’s arrows, far from ever flying straight, do corkscrew curls, ricochet, bounce, float, zigzag in a scattering of patterns that are like noting so much as the diagrams abandoned by a mad scientist on a blackboard. So how are we to understand these paintings that are a never-ending plot of come-ons, importunings, seductions, rejections, equivocations, retreats? What precisely does flirtation mean? I found myself thinking about all this after a friend, standing in the middle of his office heaped high with books, gave me his new one, The Flirt’s Tragedy, a quickening excursion through Victorian and Edwardian fiction, which actually begins in the present, with Milan Kundera’s novel Immortality and the thought that “immortality does not adhere to romantic passion perse but rather to passion’s calculated postponement.” Reading that sentence on the bus back from my friend’s office, I realized that in a sense passion’s calculated postponement is Watteau’s essential subject, so that his paintings become a meditation on the possibilities and impossibilities of love, a meditation on the chance that two people might come together, might for at least a time be turned into one.
Watteau’s paired lovers, locked in their agonizing, delicious indecision, are emblems of the ever-approaching and ever-receding possibility of love. You may argue that Watteau’s paintings of his contemporaries are an exploration of the possibility that love can change the world, and in this sense they are, like many works by Titian and Poussin, responses to love stories from classical mythology. But with Watteau the story is never complete. You try to join your destiny with another’s, but you can’t. Or at least you fear that you can’t. Flirtation becomes for Watteau’s men and women a perpetual process of becoming—a myth for modern times. As the young lovers fritter away their afternoons in the charming gardens, the old romantic love stories are collapsing. And the lover’s gestures—the touching, the looking, the looking away—are a fracturing, an abstracting of love’s grand narratives, a fracturing that shatters the authority of the narrative, creating curiously enigmatic images. What we are witnessing is something like the death of storytelling, or at least the thickening or slowing of storytelling, until the parts of the story—the young man’s arms extended in a near embrace, the young woman’s head turned away in doubt—are so magnified as to refer only to themselves. All of love becomes a sketch, a rehearsal, an episode in an experiment that can never be completed.”
(with thanks for this post to Christopher Calvin-Pollard)