Vivian Maier and a fire hydrant
Here’s a largely unedited transcription of a piece I blurted out last Saturday (6 May 2023), inspired by Vivian Maier’s life and photography. And below, some context.
Ravings of an introverted fire hydrant
I don’t think I can hold on much longer. I’m weary. I want… release. But I need to hold on. Do I, though? Yes. Yes yes yes yes. Don’t give in. You’re not supposed to tear down. Don’t crack. Keep it. Keep. It. All. Inside.
They’re torturing me. Why? Why would they do this to me? I’m not bothering anyone. Never have. Never meant to. Why can’t you just leave me alone? Forget about me. I feel like that thing laid down in a corner and forgotten. Can’t I just be like that? Please?
Oh, one more… and another one, now.
I surrender. I can’t hold on anymore. I don’t want to cling to anything any longer. I’m bursting! I can’t control any of this… but it’s so… liberating. I feel… peaceful. I am the eye of the tornado, the void between electrons, the nothingness whence I came. Take my water, take all of it. I need nothing for myself, for I do not exist – if not within this dream we’re sharing.
In this immortal moment,
In this eternal now,
All the gifts I’ve been given
I happily give back.
—Photograph taken by Vivian Maier in New York, June 1954.
What’s this post about? (Part 2)
Much like the translation of Eugenio Montale’s poem in my previous post, the piece above should really be in that very same website I haven’t created yet.
I’d wanna say I’ll start building it at the third call, except I won’t really plan to live up to that promise. Maybe I will by the 42th call. Hopefully. But I digress.
Anyhow, I decided to put the thing here and now because:
- It’s been well-received by some people, maybe you’ll enjoy it too?
- I honestly like that it has many layers and it’s open to interpretation.
- I need to keep reminding myself that self-expression is not a deadly sin.
Speaking of, this piece itself is the direct result of a creative writing exercise.
Inspiration and Vivian Maier
Vivian Dorothy Maier was “a street photographer whose work was discovered and recognized after her death.”
Her story hit me like a train and made me reflect deeply on the dual nature of art as both intimate self-expression and authentic communication with others.
The exercise consisted in choosing a photography (out of six shown) and writing something from the point of view of a non-human element of the picture.
Most outcomes were delightful, amusing, and/or profound. Witnessing once again the miracle of human creativity was nothing short of mind-blowing.
Some more context
Last week I took part in the training course Sharks in my bathtub – Art for building inner resilience (held in Carei, Romania).
I found the whole experience cathartic and enlightening. I had lots of emotions to process, and I feel I received important answers (but it’s too soon to tell).
For now, I just want to warmly thank:
- Laris Guerri and Rui Guerreiro, for the great activities and their empathy.
- Delia Cristina Rosca, for the logistics and her care way beyond duty.
- All the participants, for their presence and contributions.
(And you, for the gift of your time and attention.)