I am standing on the corner of Mount Sion and Little Mount Sion focusing on the shadow of the house opposite and its chimney pot, and coincidentally on a lamp post and and its shadow. A neighbour emerges from a doorway and as we greet one another says: "Photographing a lamp post!" in a tone of voice which might be reserved for a well-intentioned but rather foolish child.
Patterns of leaves from the lime tree are pressed flat on the wet tarmac this morning, as though they are not real, but printed there. Leaves from the same tree are also scattered loosely and lie lightly on the hedge and grass as if it is they, which are real and have inspired the glossy, golden, prints on the black road.
In The Grove this afternoon, there are two crows, as usual at this time of year. And as usual they strut up and down pecking at the ground, but they are also staking out their territory. On the other side of a path, they spot a thin, curious cat. At once they begin cawing noisily and flap over to alight within a few feet of the cat. The cat crouches adopting a half-defensive, half-hunting posture. The crows advance and then retreat. The cat advances and then retreats. Both parties in the end grow bored with the stand-off and depart by their different means of locomotion. Peace with honour?
Photography is an easy way to be able to feel like a misunderstood artist! I'm glad you photographed the lamp post anyway.
I'm unwilling to ascribe boredom to those warring parties, believing that that is their default state. But what about inanition? It's a word that deserves its walk in the park and its secondary meaning is "The absence or loss of social, spiritual or intellectual vitality or vigour". I mean, if we're going anthropomorphic, let's go all the way.
I'm glad I took the photograph not because I fancy myself as a photographer, but because it turned out more interesting than I thought it would and I responded to the rule which I have set myself: if you have the urge snap it.
Anthropomorphism is a sin of which I am frequently guilty. I used to refer to the two crows in The Grove as Mr and Mrs Crow even though I doubt if over the years they have have been the same birds. Now I try to avoid referring to them in that way, though that doesn't prevent me from thinking of them as a rather pompous self-regarding couple who exercise proprietry rights over the little park. It is something to do with the way they strut over the grass and the lazy way in which they flap their wings when they fly. The more I think about animals and birds and human beings, the more they seem to have enough in common to allow some indulgence in anthropomorphism.
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