marți, 15 martie 2011

An Image

You know how some images stick in your mind for years, even though they may not mean anything very much; may not even be beautiful? I have a ruined hut in my mind which is like that. I had seen it in Chakwal, Pakistan, for a few minutes, in between some other things. I have written about my visit to Chakwal already.

My sister visited me in November, bringing with her a box of slides of Pakistan which I had left with her. Most of them have a nasty purplish overlay, which I've been trying to clear away through the magic of Photoshop. I was scanning the slides from Chakwal, and found one of the hut. Fittingly, perhaps, it was ruined; I couldn't bring it to life. And yet the photograph succeeds for me, because it suggests something coloured by the imagination:

I love the little tree, which someone carefully planted beside the door -- I had forgotten it. This is what I wrote:

It was the most rudimentary structure, enclosed within a low stone wall. The pale stones, mud mortar crumbling away, the half-fallen thatch of the roof through which blue sky was visible, the rotting door, the broken wooden bedstead -- all seemed touching. I wondered about the lives it had contained, and why they had left it. The air was very quiet, sunny, clear and cold.