i say keep writing them but if they start getting like lonely planet descriptions of alphington then stop.
- jason flaherty
near where i live there's a park. park is too short a word for it, really. it's glorious. really what happens is there's a fissure in the city. the city goes along and then it stops and there's a river and almost wildness and then the city starts again.
there are two installations there. one's deliberate and i don't think the other one is. i'll treat them in order.
1. the deliberate installation.
WELL, MAYBE IT'S not actually an installation. really it's more like public art. what someone's done is make up a path through the park with little spots to stop and do things. it's called a spiritual healing path. it's great. you walk along and then you stop and there's a little metal plaque that tells you how to think about the place where you are and what you might want to do there.
for instance, there's a lovely little spot where you can sit by the stream. the plaque says 'let go of everything you can't control'. nice.
anyway, in the park there's a tiny mountain. you might think it's a hill but it's shaped like a mountain, just small. on top of the mountain is a plaque that says 'READY TO GO! you're on top of the world and on top of your issues.'
so in my house we call this mountain mount issues.
i climbed mt issues the other day. it didn't take long because it's so small but even so: you can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miiiiiiiiiiles, as the who say. then i walked around a little more.
2. early and bright
THIS MORNING I rode my bike there. it was cold. i'd been in the house too much lo these last few days. it was good to be out in the colours of things again: the crisp colours of a cold morning. each thing looked rained-on and clean and potentially bright. they weren't bright yet, these things, because the sun was still low but they looked like they could be bright when the sun got a little higher and that was the main thing.
3. the unintentional installation
NEAR MOUNT ISSUES is a large pond. the water is green and streaked with tiny bubbles that won't burst.
in the middle of the pond is a pile of stones. on top of the pile is a little tower: a cage on legs, full of what look like spare parts for cars with engines made of metal flowers.
one of the legs of the tower has a pipe bolted to it. water flows up the pipe. it's filtered through the metal engine flowers and then it rains gently out the bottom and onto the stones.
the pile of stones is graduated: the top is dark dark brown, where all the water lands. further down it's lighter brown and then near the pond's surface it's grey.
i stared at it for a little while.
NEAR THAT WAS another pond. ducks were floating on the sky's reflection. they left wakes behind them, v-shaped like flying flocks. maybe these wakes describe imaginary friends, the flocks who aren't here but who people our minds and hearts, migrating along with us, migrating through time: from the country of the past where we were born to the country of the future where we have to live from now on and where we don't quite speak the language.
i rode around. my wheels wrote dark cursive on the pale paper of frosty grass.
the sun was coming up but still low. my shadow was elegant and long on the ground.