The end of the world
Comes not with a whimper
Or a bang
Three empty benches in Alison Park, Randwick. I took this photo a couple of weeks ago while walking home. It was a beautiful day but the scene just felt eerie to me for some reason – the park is usually buzzing with people and it just felt strange, seeing it so empty and the cars all parked in a row. Like the whole world had suddenly disappeared.
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011
“A birthday—and now a day that rose
With much of hope, with meaning rife—
A thoughtful day from dawn to close:
The middle day of human life.”
— Jean Ingelow
I turned 27 today. I’ve never been that big on birthdays so I’ve just had a quiet day at home with my family today. I spent the afternoon looking through some old photos and keepsakes as well which was nice. It’s become a bit of a birthday tradition over the years.
My father bought this cake from Michel’s Patisserie earlier today as well as a birthday treat. It’s a mix of milk chocolate and white chocolate mud cake with just a hit of rum. It was delicious and almost too pretty to eat! Almost. 😉
Blowing in a gentle breeze
Falling to the earth
I took this a couple of weeks ago in Alison Park, just as winter was beginning to give way to spring and the trees were starting to regain their colour. I was on my way home and saw the sun setting through the trees, so stopped to take a quick photo before the sun disappeared.
I’ve always loved this time of year; the changing seasons, seeing life and colour return to the world. Winter seemed to go by so quickly this year though that I felt a little sad as well, seeing the brown leaves giving way to the green. Time seems to go by so quickly these days.
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011
Just a quick note. Some of you may remember a poem I wrote a few years ago called I Am. Apparently it’s just been turned into a song.
I didn’t know anything about it and only recently stumbled across it via Google; I had licensed it under a creative commons licence and it looks like someone liked it enough to turn it into a kind of song/audio reading on ccMixter.
It’s actually two samples; an a cappella reading of the poem by Togora and then a remix with music added by Syenta. I think it’s excellent, particularly for what was probably just a quick project, and I really like the bluesy feel to it; suits the poem perfectly.
I’ve embedded it below if anyone wants to listen and the original poem is available here. My thanks to Togora and Syenta for their work; I’m honoured that they liked my poem enough to reinterpret it. Makes me want to write a proper song. 😉
In many ways I almost can’t believe that it’s been ten years since September 11. Perhaps it’s because I remember that day so well and it had such an impact on how I looked at the world but it feels like it was only a few months ago to me, maybe a year, not ten. And yet at the same time it really does feel like ten years have passed as well – so much has happened in the last decade, both personally and globally, that at times it almost feels like longer. I guess it’s strange that both perceptions can feel true but many people I’ve spoken to recently have said the same thing. I suppose that just shows how much of an impact September 11 really has had on the world.
I often find myself thinking back to that day. I was sixteen at the time and my parents and I were living in a hideous cockroach-infested flat in Hillsdale that we hated and were trying to move out of as quickly as possible. At the time I felt miserable; it was one of the first times that my health had worsened and I felt trapped and lonely and missed my friends. I’d also just received several nasty rejection letters, which for a sixteen year old who’d only just started writing were devastating.
Then September 11 happened and it put some things in perspective. I can still remember exactly where I was when I first heard about it; I was having a shower when my mother knocked on the door and said there’d been an explosion at the World Trade Center. I didn’t understand at first; I thought she meant there’d been an accident and didn’t think much more about it while I finished and got changed. When I came through though I knew immediately it was serious; my parents were staring at the television, horrified. I looked at the TV which had crossed to one of the US stations and saw the smoke and fire… and then moments later the second plane flew into the South Tower.
For as long as I live I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling in my stomach as I watched the plane hit; it was almost physical, like my soul had suddenly been ripped from my body. I felt weak at the knees and had to sit down. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; I remember hearing shouts and screams coming through the TV but it felt surreal, like I was watching it all from somewhere far away.