by Steven McCabe
Curving a slow corner
You pass through
Your mirror image
Picking up speed
Speaking in code
beneath the northern lights
drag what has fallen
A spherical puzzle
Does the wind agree
I was reflecting on personal things with this post. Changes, new directions, letting the past go, that sort of thing. There was no poem to begin with simply ideas & words I’ve been thinking about.
My attraction to twinning these two images was in discovering similar design motifs. A centre circular repetition. The lines on the sides of the meter resembling folded wings. The art deco, industrial perfect for a prison design of the meter contrasted with the wild bird hemmed in by a border & religious orthodoxy.
Although I suspect the early illuminators of manuscripts had druidic sensibilities and conveyed within their images the beauty of pagan relationships with the earth I can’t find anything similar to say about the parking meter. Although it does have a certain Dracula’s Castle type charm.
The parking meter imposed order upon free space. We might even say ‘wild’ spaces occurring in a common setting if we want to draw an analogy with pagan spirituality being ‘tamed.’
The first parking meter in the United States was installed in 1935
(during the Great Depression & dust storms)
in Oklahoma City.
The Book of Dimma is an 8th century Irish illuminated manuscript now
housed in Trinity College, Dublin
featuring the symbol of an eagle
John the Evangelist.
Gave me the feeling I was a sports car. Perhaps this will become a new universal archetype.
Hi Pierre, Thank you for your thought about a new universal archetype. It was a brilliant idea. But since you commented I changed the post significantly. I can see how the sports car analogy worked perfectly with what I had before but now it might puzzle viewers.
I’m think it’s time to reverse my habit of major editing after posting.
I’ve been witnessing this post metamorphose this afternoon, Steven, between rounds of shoveling wet snow and responding to comments. The first draft I found subliminal and it elicited the memory of the intuitive paintings I’ve hung on walls … flattening my history… and then years later understanding the fullness of what they mean.
Then the tone here seemed to shift and I just watched it evolve. True to the title, though, I’m back now where I started. What an interesting afternoon, Steven. Like speaking in tongues…
Hi j.h., I had no idea that changes were visible in progress. That’s sort of a delightful idea.
Sadly the word ‘flattened’ disappeared. After I took it out I kept trying to find a new way to get it back in but there just didn’t seem to be an opening. Reminds me of taking a favourite section out of a painting and talking to it, apologizing, saying goodbye. Sounds sort of crazy but one gets attached to shapes, colours, sounds…
Thank you very much for watching this evolve.
That is a very intriguing idea of intuitive paintings on walls being connected to flattening personal history.
Speaking in tongues, in code, on the internet!
beneath the northern lights
drag what has fallen”…echos of profound summers alone on fire-lookouts in northern British Columbia…all your words give me passage through my own history…
“A spherical puzzle
delivered you”…this is evocative and powerful language Steven and the images…yes…the juxtaposition of the parking meter and the eagle, Tarot cards…the secular and the sacred…
I do enjoy immersing in your posts…
John, your experiences in northern B.C. sound quite spectacular and I’m glad this takes you ‘there…’
Appreciate your thoughts on that phrase about ‘being delivered…’ Now I’m thinking about a ‘spherical puzzle sounding rather Escheresque…or mystical. Just rolling along. Or floating. Maybe one of those balls of light.
The Tarot card idea Is very interesting…both visually and being loaded with meaning. A very rich idea! You know, I had not thought logically: I am going to contrast the sacred and the secular or profane but that’s what happened. Thank you for your insight and these new interpretations.
I like the early symmetry of the images- like looking down a mirror, so you have the whole picture of half a person- which is maybe interesting in light of moving from the past into the future- sliced right through your own history. I see the paired images as code flags as well…prompted by the word and maybe knowing a little history.
I can’t help thinking of what Cool Hand Luke did to parking meters.
..and of John being hemmed in by the Ocean on Patmos. And blowing the doors off of the vertical orthodoxy by the “code” he received there.
Thank you Jack for finding a deeper meaning linking Cool Hand Luke & the meters to John on Patmos & code & ocean.
This didn’t occur to me.
Neither did the paired images as naval code flags occur to me.
Just to riff: morse code flags, morse code instructional cards, playing cards, two pair….
I appreciate the mirror imagery you cinematically describe. And the past into future through one’s own history. Sounds like a cleansing. Or a recharging. A connection with something seed-like.
Love this phrase…blowing the doors off vertical orthodoxy… that sounds like something happening at the ground floor level…and of course if it’s ‘doors’ as opposed to ‘door’ it suggests one of those older twin doors…Now that take us into a new direction entirely!
So much here, Steven. So rich. The bird hemmed in by the border, imposing constraint on the free, the relations between the parking meter and the illustration. And the phrase “curving a slow corner” … intriguing, provoking.
The parking meter is very interesting. Like other industrial things of the early to mid 20th century, I’m moved by the care and craft lavished on them; the refusal to produce something ugly, something dead; the profligacy of love; the unconscious gifting to the “glory of God”.
Hi Narelle, thank you for these thoughts. I’m struck by the idea of an unconscious gifting to the glory of God. As if one is recreating an alchemical action searching for the gold. But without knowing it.
All that molten metal being formed and molded and cast. Strangely the opposite of spirit but perhaps otherwise as you suggest.