A walking blast

“TEN-SHUN! Heels clap. Hands slap the fatigues. Backs straighten up. Just look ahead to a far and distant horizon of glory. Wait for the orders. “AT EASE!” Relax a bit. Spread your legs. Clasp your hands behind your back. Wait. “Today we shall do an explosive drill.” The Adjudant says. An ‘Adjudant’ is a non-commissioned…

A tale of three cities

A Paris sky. The Eiffel tower as seen from the Trocadéro, across the Seine. Summer 2022 A gentleman from Punjab maybe? A restaurant somewhere in Marylebone, London. Chicken Tikka Masala was excellent. Brussels, at the Mont des arts. A monument to rectitude? No. The statues are called “Musique et chant”, Music and song. By Oscar…

Time patrol: Land of the Maya

The pyramid of the Magician. Uxmal. c.1882. Désiré Charnay expedition. Charnay was a French explorer who documented a number of abandoned Maya cities in the peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico, in the second half of the 19th century. See the pyramid then: a heap of stones and earth, invaded by vegetation. The very same pyramid of…

Shadows and stairways

I haven’t slept in three years. Tomorrow will be the exact third anniversary. I can’t believe time went by so quickly. Three years! A little more than a thousand nights! A thousand white nights. Not even insomnia. I just gradually stopped sleeping. In the course of three months. Started on a Monday. I woke up…

An afternoon walk, New York

“From the faraway, nearby”. Georgia O’Keefe, 1937. Met. Born in 1887, she was fifty when she started experimenting with those paintings. I didn’t realize she’d lived until she was almost a hundred, she died in 1986. Sadly, she lost most of her eyesight in the 70’s which must be a curse for an artist. She…

Fly, fly…

Early morning under the African sky. The sun is already peaking over the palm trees behind the military airport. I tie the laces on my second-hand army ranger boots for the third time. What time is it? Seven thirty. What a ghastly hour. I have a slight hangover. I really shouldn’t have gone to the…

Street. Art. Here. And. There.

“Don’t make my brown eyes blue”. Sopó, Colombia. 2021. (c)ourtesy my wife. Looking for the Little Prince. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2022. (c)ourtesy Gini. The Brontë sisters. Bogotá, Colombia. “Somewhere under the rainbow….”. San Francisco, 2016. “I feel a little pale today”. Paris. Artist: Poulain. Catherine Poulain is a French artist. I will look her work…

Never again

Two men were lying facedown on the ground. Both covered their head with their hands in a futile attempt at protection against the bullets and rockets that flew above. They were about twenty yards away from each other. Separated by an imaginary line. Border or combat line. Who knows? Who cares? Were they civilians? Soldiers?…

A mid-day walk, London

This past summer, after the Jubilee, the Queen was everywhere in London. Even street artists paid homage. London, July 2022. Where does one start in London? Big ben? Westminster? 1649? When Cromwell declared England a Commonwealth and Free state? Later annexing Ireland and Scotland with a single Parliament in Westminster? The Underground’s a good start.…

The sand jar

He lived in a small flat, in a small town, in a small rainy country, a country so small it did not even reach the sea. He had a small job, in a small insurance office. Every day, at precisely eight in the morning, he arrived at the office. He always carried an umbrella: it…