A friend recently observed that my life was dangerously orbiting around birds and cats. During our trip to Istanbul, I took over 1000 photographs with my iPad of seagulls chasing our ferry for cracker crumbs. When the conversation would lull into silence, I would be asked how my cat was doing to which I gave the same response I did the day before, that the cat was getting fatter. He’s been getting fat for the past two years and now I think the cat is finally losing weight. The observation seemed ominous, thoughts traveled back to my father’s retirement existence. The similarities were striking. When I visit my dad back home, he has endless stories of cats and birds. From the time he drops off my half brother at school to when both my stepmom and half brother come back home, my dad passes his time luring birds to our back porch and observing the cat that lives outside our front door. He places his camera on a tripod and sets on the railing a broken branch with berries, a plastic coke bottle filled with bird seeds, fruit, flowers, mugs, cans, actual coke and all kinds of birds come. He tells of how the cat got pregnant by the neighboring cats. The front porch cat has given birth like three times.
He posts most of his photos on a Korean online community that seems like a maze to reach his photos in folder after folder however that seems to be his online medium of choice. He showed me a series in which a bird ate the food he placed out and then flew down to the railing and took a dump afterwards. My dad even caught the bird lifting one leg to do it.
Living in Berlin for many of friends who visited or who lived here for a couple of months/years was a nice second choice if something they wanted more failed. If I can’t get into law school, I’d love to live in Berlin and freelance. If I can’t find a job after my PhD, I can always more to Berlin. And if you already live in Berlin, its travel. As one working artist told me, oh I have lots of friends who can’t do art so they travel.
I spent Christmas with my friend’s family near the border country of Northern Ireland and Ireland and found myself using words rarely apart of my vocabulary “amazing, lovely, wonderful”. As I was there, I couldn’t help but compare my situation with English novels and BBC mini-series I had read and watched such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Wuthering Heights” and the short while I was in Dublin, “Dubliners” (although nothing was as Brown as the short stories made seem). Unlike myself, my friend is a fairly private person so I haven’t included any photos of her home or family but I’m posting the photos taken on our walks in the countryside.
I also have to add, I don’t know how my friend’s mother did it but without ever having met me, she was able to gift me everything I love, Wolford tights, J.M. Coetzee’s “Summertime” and a BLANK notebook moleskin, (I can’t stand the ruled notebooks) How did she do it ? I guess having four daughters kind of makes you an expert Christmas Santa.