North Circular Road, Dublin
The weeks pass, the numbers count down, and over the screen the tumbleweed blows.
I love my collection, and I love to share it, but lately I've started to feel uncomfortably like Laura from the Glass Menagerie, obsessing over my pretty little glass animals, limping around with an ailment I can't pronounce, wondering where my gentleman callers have gone. OK, not really so much limping around with the weird ailment part. But as for the other stuff? Y'all can just call me Blue Roses.
Laura Wingfield (AKA chick in the Tennessee Williams play who can't pronounce "pleurosis") is one of those characters who probably irks me so greatly because I recognize some of my most unflattering features in her. I'm all for a good Tennessee Williams drama, but Laura as a creation gets under my skin: a frail Quasimodo in a dress, a tinny whinefest of a character who I am tempted to sweep off the shelf in one swoop of my arm. You want to shake the girl and say, Stop moping about your goddamn glass unicorn that broke! Quit daydreaming about admirers! Go out and live and little! So you're afraid of the outside world and find it all safey-wafey in your dreamland? Fine, be that way, go nuts with your magical made-up universe, but don't check your stats like some hypochondriac taking your temperature. The fever is always from within, not from without, if it's any good at all, and that you know without checking.
A sad fact of the creative endeavor is it's not always so hot in that supposedly fiery furnace. All creative bursts face a cooling-down period, and this project is no exception. True, there have been expeditions where I've set out, camera and notebook in hand, with almost a grim missionary duty to find, say, a 291 or a 178, and I will trawl up and down the comfy gridded streets of Manhattan, feeling less and less that feeling of exploration that inspires me in cities and more and more like the city is some crossword puzzle I am trying to finish. I wonder sometimes if my blog risks falling into that trap, this puzzle I have to finish merely because I started it.
I work through the slow times -- wandering, taking pictures, collecting, writing -- in hopes it will pick up again, and in fear that my best days are in fact behind me. Will the anecdotes flow, the banter resume, the joy of the hunt still keep me on my toes? No idea. Better not reflect on those glass animals too long, Blue Roses. It's the weekend. Aren't you, like, going to L.A. or something?