Last September I went on a trip around some countries in Europe with my family. It’s been a while but I wanted to share some of the photos I took.
There were many skies. The sky was invaded by great white clouds, flat on the bottom but round and billowy on top. The sky was completely cloudless, of a blue quite shattering to the senses. The sky was a heavy, suffocating blanket of grey cloud, but without promise of rain. The sky was thinly overcast. The sky was dappled with small, white, fleecy clouds…
Chapter 78, Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Here are some of the photos I’ve taken this month. Most of this month was seen through my sunglasses, which change the colour of things — I’ve tried to add some of that colour through editing the images. Enjoy!
I am large
My belly is round,
swaying from side to side
caught in the rhythm
of the Pacific Ocean.
I spill colours on the pavement
I forget smiles on the metro
I’ve shed memories on the train
worn trainers to work
unfriended people on Facebook.
I am loud
I dissolve, sometimes
so others can bloom
be heard, be happy…
There is fire in my eyes
Spanish sunshine on my skin
A mélange of colours in my hair
ComPassion in my veins –
I walk into town with the intention of going to church. I make it to the bus stop and then decide that I’ll go to Dane John Gardens instead. My hair feels light and it dances about my head in the soft breeze. I go up to the Dane John Mound, I am surprised by how beautiful Canterbury is. I send this photo to a friend and remain on the mound for a while.
Soon I am surrounded by tourists and as it’s getting chilly I decide to leave. I walk along the wall and stop to look back at Dane John Gardens.I cross the bridge, walk past the bus station and head towards Burgate – it’s one of my favourite streets. I really like walking down that street, especially after it rains. I walk towards the Cathedral and stop to admire a window, just because. Two children are racing each other beneath it so I wait to take my photo, I don’t want to ruin their game.
The way the sunlight falls on the window and the little balcony is lovely. I continue down Burgate towards the Buttermarket where I find out that the Cathedral Café is opening on February 18th! I have high expectations of that café, it used to be a Starbucks but they closed. The rooms are beautiful. I go into the Cathedral and find that there is a service going on. There are no chairs in the nave, just how I like it.
There are a couple of chairs near the choir, I sit down to listen to the sermon. I find it somewhat discouraging; the priest talks a lot about “holy living”, about how we must show good outward behaviour and inner integrity. But he talks as if it all depends on us. I argue with him in my head, what if you feel you can’t control your emotions? What happens when you’re depressed, suicidal, angry? I wait until the end of the sermon but sadly he doesn’t say that there’s room for messiness. I think about Jesus and how his love for me doesn’t change, even when I’m not well-behaved and when I’m angry, cynical and an emotional mess. Down in the crypt I write a prayer on one of those post-its they have and leave through the side door. I walk out through the back to admire the Roman ruins for a while…
I’m beginning to get hungry so I eat a banana while balancing the camera to take photos of the houses in the precincts.
They are so beautiful! I go out of the main gate and turn right. I walk down Sun street and left behind Debenhams. The Salvation Army is playing hymns outside Costa, whose terrace is very busy. I decide to go into the Beaney, a library and museum. I go upstairs to my favourite room…
where I take photos of frames…
I also think the arrangement of the paintings is nice…it must be the blue wall, I have a soft spot for blue.
After that I visit some of the other rooms and make sure I rush by the one with all the stuffed animals and dessicated butterflies – they’re torture for me! Downstairs I stop by the room where they do itinerant exhibitions and take a peek at the sunlight coming through the window behind the white panel…
It’s hilarious. But once I’m outside I realise that one of the employees is cleaning all the writing off the windows, she must not be very amused. The Beaney from outside:
The sky is so beautifully blue! I continue my way towards Westgate and decide to make a detour down Stour street. But first I photograph the facade of Boho – a place that many people have recommended and I have refused to try, that’s how stubborn I am.
Boho is next to one of my favourite buildings in Canterbury but I keep trying to get a good photo and none of them do it justice. I think the fascinating thing about the building is letting it surprise you when you walk on Best Lane towards the High Street. There is a moment between the Olive Grove and the Oxfam shop where the building just jumps at me and I realise how beautiful it is and wish that it wasn’t home to Prezzo and Chimichanga…they just kill the mood. In Stour Street I am ambushed by a crowd of teenagers who speak German and have decided to take photos of the dirty phone booths, it makes me chuckle. I decide that it’s time to take a few last pictures and walk home. I have loved this street lamp since the first time I saw it. It looks gorgeous against the purple sky at twilight. I stop at the bridge to look at the river.
I miss you. Again. I am very tired of missing you.
After all, you chose to leave. You ceased to write or call
or send birthday cards.
I miss you even though you never liked my poems
or my drawings and paintings or my rants about exhibitions.
I miss you even though you didn’t like my taste in sitcoms
and thought I wouldn’t be able to appreciate your music.
I miss you even though we are so unsuitable for each other.
I miss you because you saw me. You wanted to know me,
You didn’t want my theological knowledge
or my grades. You weren’t even after my body.
You saw beyond all that. Always.
You are incredibly beautiful. Utterly loved.
I hope you know that now.
I miss you. And I look out the window
and walk along the river bank
hoping to see you again.
I never do. I walk on.
– Yessica Dædalus, 2013
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The Blog of Neel Burton - Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Writer, and Wine Lover