Archive for March, 2012

Standing On Ice


Crying in public was not allowed, read the sign; from some distance I observed as she stood silently by the edge of the platform, waiting for the last train home. It was shivering cold that early evening; a big moon on the horizon; steam on the city skies. She looked young, dark complexion, petite, trapped in an oversized winter jacket. Perhaps in her mid-30s, wearing a cute Russian hat, and somewhat out of place carrying a multi-coloured purse with the line “walking on air” written on it. She moved gently, softly; in a transient state.  She noticed me and smiled; I smiled back. “Please stand back from the edge of the platform” the speakers glared. An awkward moment followed, then she stepped back, in her eyes the words; do you know me?

– I look sad, but I am fine. Traveling over an excruciating moment; thinking about my options, that’s all. I am an artist, self-employed, you know. I paint, draw, and take pictures. Working on a new show now, yes, for the summer. I want to let the trees speak, but, I don’t yet know how to do it …

There were signs in the distance; couldn’t quite make out the words. I noticed a few clouds moving on, other shadows displacing air, exhaling. I wish I could enter the realm of her imagination, find a crack to slide in, and join her alluring luminosity on different grounds. Then, I thought we could both be run over by a bus; become another number on the ledger of the gracefully departed. What virtue would that be?

– Trees tell stories; deep and long stories of everything they have seen, everything that have been from times immemorial; they speak in unison, yet, most people cannot hear their voice, only notice their winter skeletons; the autumn falls, the summer greens, the colourful springs. Trees tell us where we have been, where we are and where we’re going. How do you capture all that?

I paused for a moment to watch her breathing; from where I was standing it appeared she was looking at the blowing wind and a dark cloud over her head. Imaginary balls where floating around her; a rare luminosity glowing under her footsteps. She exuded confidence, yet, I sensed fear, suffering. I heard her murmuring something; perhaps a song without words, maybe naming artifacts for the archeologists of the future; blurry visions, confusing expectations, delusions of grandeur, the shinning of tall buildings.

– I am in between what was, is and will be; what separates us is illusionary, should you move closer, you will know what I mean. I have tried different techniques, for sure, even recording their moods, at the exact time when the four seasons converge, and the win caresses their sturdy skins. I can feel their calling. The world would be a better place if we were to listen, carefully, honorably, trusting.

The train came; swallowed by its large doors, its overwhelming banners, she steeped in, her scarf left behind. I stood on the edge of the platform, waiting for the next train home. It was cold that evening; a big moon on the horizon reminded me of neighbouring skies & broken geographies; “Please stand back from the edge of the platform” the speakers ordered.  Another silence followed, I stepped back; just at that moment, I saw her lips saying “find me; bring my scarf back” … I am still looking; her ghostly figure holding me back.


© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)