Putting up with shit when you can have cake

November 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

‘He asked me why I was always alone. I told him that I was a writer. And that most writers worked alone. He asked me if I was a famous writer. I said that I was fairly famous and had won the Prix Goncourt. He asked if it was a very important prize and if I had a big house and gardens. I told him that I rented what used to be a servant’s room in the roof of a hotel. And how I remember the way he screwed up his nose at this. And asked me why I lived like an impoverished hermit if I was in fact a rich man. I realised then that I had assumed all the clichés of austerity.

‘And I remember his reply. He said, “Why make do with the bare minimum? Why live on so little? If I were you I’d want everything. I wouldn’t be satisfied with so little.”

‘And I remember how strange this sounded, coming from the stillness of that bony, innocent face, the salt sticking to his short, wet curls. And I laughed and said, “You mean I should have a big house and car and a wife and children?”

‘His face clouded and aged with contempt. He took on the aspect of a dwarf and answered with devastating, terrible seriousness. “No, I didn’t mean that. Anybody can have all those. You should want – all of it. All this.” And he stretched out his arm, now reddening in the sun, high above his head, indicating the limitless, overarching blue above us, the forever retreating line of the sea, stretching away to Africa.

‘I stared and laughed. He shook his finger at me like a goblin. Then recited the day’s lesson with ecclesiastical solemnity. “It seems to me that you live in a mean and lonely way. You should live on a grander scale. You should never put up with shit if you can get cake.”


‘And that is the loneliness of seeing a different world from that of the people around you. Their lives remain remote from yours. You can see the gulf and they can’t. You live among them. They walk the earth. You walk on glass. They reassure themselves with conformity, with carefully constructed resemblances. You are masked, aware of your absolute difference.’

– Patricia Duncker from “Hallucinating Foucault”



November 18, 2010 § 1 Comment


(Arrangement of a scene:
thunderstorm of madness
I raised my head and I saw no one)

© Justin Maxon

Few photographers have moved me and captivated me in their vision as much as Justin Maxon. If you see his earlier work and the places where his mind has been, to the places where he is reaching for, the age-old dichotomy and struggle of good vs evil, war vs peace, dark vs light becomes clear. Recently selected to participate at the World Press Photo Masterclass, Justin set for himself a new task – to break through the madness and the thunderstorm and to take solace for a moment in the sun. I remember speaking with him for hours about this… the idea of filling your life with the anguish of others because it’s all the reality you know, or perhaps… something different. Perhaps it’s just as important to balance the darkness with its lighter counterpart, to photograph with sincerity and heartbreaking earnestness all that you might have hoped for, all that you might want to live for. It takes enormous courage to hope. I’ve found that fewer and fewer people are willing to openly throw off the mantle of cynicism for fear of being vulnerable and ridiculed, for fear of losing street cred. Justin hopes… and if he has fear of it, I have yet to see him succumb… and we, as his audience, are better for it.

Slow down…Breathe…Only this life

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

The flesh

November 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Of flora




November 16, 2010 § 2 Comments

Melbourne | Australia

Going places

November 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

It’s become a different beast for me, being on the move, going places. It used to be this embarkation to some mysterious unknown, or thoughtful homecoming, one of the two. Now the idea of home is a strange creature. At once less familiar and more amorphous. Old faces that grew older when I wasn’t looking. Grey hairs, smile lines, deeper from events that I wasn’t around to witness. Friends weaving through the cyclical landmine of love and heartbreak, I stop just in time to see the blur of the revolving door of girlfriends and boyfriends, never really around long enough for me to really get to know them, or them me. Maybe I’ll make it to the wedding, maybe not. Maybe I’m getting tired of being on the move so much, living the half life. Getting to know you, part time.


November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Back again on Australian soil. The same perfume of my old hallway, bed made how I left it in August. The comings and goings now so frequent that I barely feel my feet leave the ground before I’m back home unpacking all over again. Not for long though, only 7 days this time. Enough time to swim in saltwater, hold long-suffering friends briefly in my arms and eat mangoes with my father.


November 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello? Did you hear me when I called? Seemed like you did… when you turned your head so slightly, ear caught to the wind at the sound of my voice and your name. Perhaps you thought it was a mistake. Perhaps you thought that I was calling to another. Well I wasn’t. It was always you… I just veiled my threats with the possibility of others. I never meant to hurt you.

The rain keeps coming. Fall gives way to the cold clutch of winter. I prepare to head south.

Where Am I?

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