TRIBUTE

trib·ute

noun

  1. A gift, testimonial, compliment, or the like, given as due or in acknowledgement of gratitude or esteem.

This guy resided on my daily walk home (west London, that was then). Stoic fellow.

People leave him hole-y shoes, crisp packets, soda because the cans fit nicely at his right paw… Or they go by — tsk — shaking their heads, maybe picking the detritus up to put in the nearby rubbish bin. Sometimes that was me, or I’d be curious enough to get out the iPhone, make a pause big enough to stop walking, head down, thinking ‘I know where everything belongs!’. That’s long enough to catch onto the niggling, striving belief that there is a place for everything; that I could find it, pin my butterflies there, keep beauty from flying off without even a moment’s notice. Then lions wouldn’t leap out of the backs of west London buildings, asking for spare change and Mountain Dew.

My mother and I used to argue about when to do the dishes. She wanted them cleaned, immediately – preferably before the eating of dinner. Letting them sit around ‘til what felt (to me) like the right time to do them (later; tomorrow; when do things turn green?) bordered on the unthinkable. They were out there, sitting, waiting – couldn’t I see? Didn’t it rattle my cage, didn’t leaving things undone un-done bother me?

It took me years to acquire anywhere near this level of agitation toward the unfinished bits of my days. 

Of all the things un-done, it’s the things which — day-in, day-out — are neatened, tidied, emptied and stuck back in place that convince me I’m not getting anywhere. & for every day I walked by that statue (and there were many) and there was something else; present, worn, framed, exactly as you see – grated, yellow, where new street meets old stone – I only fell deeper into the knowing of the thing that has no place but which is exactly as it should be. Which is a peace of mind uneasily won; This part of my day where I am pretty sure I’m only 1 empty can away from being a rusty lion.

sidebar: the shop in front of which the lion stands does framing. they’ve been there for yonks and have 5 levels of picture frames. wonderful.