In 1920, Ernest Hemingway, then a freelance journalist for The Toronto Star and struggling writer, wrote this letter to his wife Hadley:
“You can make me jealous—and you can hurt most awfully—’cause my loving you is a chink in the armour of telling the world to go to hell and you can thrust a sword into it at any time—”
And then he goes on to say,
“‘Course I love you—I love you all the time—when I wake up in the morning and have to splash around and shave—I look at your picture and think about you—and that’s a pretty deadly part of a day as you know and a good test of loving any one.“
You can read and view Hemingway’s letter in all it’s original handwritten glory here.
I have been reading simultaneously The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast, I cannot get enough early Hemingway, and this letter is an excellent example of why his writing, while sometimes indulgent and dawdling, is also very evocative and moving.
Yes, he betrayed Hadley, and married four times, before shooting himself in the head, but as he writes in A Moveable Feast, “I wish I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.“
I left Canada six months ago without a return ticket, not knowing where life would take me. I have been living out of a backpack, rationing food, sleeping on buses and railway station benches. I have written, I have photographed, I have filmed, I have run, I have swam, I have danced all night, I have cycled, I have froze, I have bronzed, I have planked, I have made 13 different countries know my name, I have coughed up blood and screamed til I was hoarse… After a very sad September, I just wanted to feel the Earth moving before my eyes again, carrying me with it to some unknown destination.
Today I move from London UK to Cologne Germany for the beginning of another great journey…
Don’t wait up.
El Mac’s hombre mural on Hewett Street in Shoreditch, right next to the Vhils.
Donde esta el Huevos Rancheros.
No habla espagnol (obviously).
Found this in Soho, London
So many pieces of street art in Cologne are on the theme of love, yearning, pining, and matter of the heart.
“The realm of heaven is a state of the heart.”
These phrases are by street artists Chaleur Humaine
“Power versus love.”
“Are you happy?”
This is an interesting piece we found in a gallery, because the stencil is sprayed on an old candy dispenser from the mid-20th century.
Done and done.
Lars had to explain this one to me. In his own words:
<<it’s a wordplay on Karl Marx’s quote “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but their social existence that determines their consciousness” (dialectical materialism)… the correspondent quote in german is „Das (gesellschaftliche) Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein“.
instead of saying “existence determines consciousness“, the stencil says “existence puts consciousness out of tune” / “being disgruntles one’s consciousness“…
here’s your vocabulary test for the day:
bestimmen = to determine
verstimmen = to disgruntle, to put out of tune
a clever one, that is. yes indeed.>>
“And the alcoholic afternoons that we spend in your room, they had more worth than any living thing on Earth.”
“Maybe true freedom always needs another human being.”
Who knew Germans were such lovertines?
All the beautiful Parisian street art that I have found on the theme of love and relationships. This is the urban art that really makes my heart ache. Most pieces I find are clever, witty, funny, political, or tongue-in-cheek. But this is the work that, no, I won’t say it uplifts my soul, but I will say — it simply makes me glad I have one.
Ah, Curtis Kulig. I do love you, I do.
Love me til I’m me again.
I have photographed Curtis Kulig’s Love Me stickers and roller pieces all over New York Shitty, and even featured him in this short film I made about New York’s street art, and now I find him in Paris!
If you pay close attention to the opening credits of Saturday Night Live, you will see a quick shot of this sticker with NYC in the background.
Check out my Curtis Kulig category for more of his work that I’ve photographed.
Something strange happened to me last week, which propelled me this week to bleed. Literally. But it didn’t hurt. In fact, it felt pretty tingly.
Here’s what happened.
Last week I was headed to an event in my grandmothers car. Lately I have had a distaste for driving. I prefer public transit and cycling, but because I live uptown, when I’m in a hurry or running late (which is often), I grab Sitto’s car (“Sitto” is Arabic for granny) and zoom downtown. Transit would take about 1hr 15mins, and cycling would take 90 mins to 2 hours (and leaving me rather sweaty in my cocktail dress and pumps). Driving takes maybe 20 minutes, but I have had several bad experience with traffic cops and traffic court lately that makes me hate getting behind the wheel.
What I hate most about driving is looking for parking. It’s expensive and it’s hard to find. Luckily on this evening I found a spot in a parking lot on the first try, but as I approached the metre to shove in my hard-earned twoonies and loonies, I noticed something strange.
Here in Toronto, when you fill the parking metre, a computerized ticket slides out the bottom and you place it on your dash. As I exclaimed to no one but myself how expensive the price of parking was at this particular lot, I noticed that a computerized ticket was already sticking out of the bottom slot.
I retrieved it and visually scanned it. Usually people discard their expired tickets in and around the metre, so I was expecting more of the same.
This was a ticket that had been fully paid for, and just left there. It hadn’t expired. In fact, it was valid until 7AM the following morning (12 hours later at this point).
WOO HOO! FREE PARKING!
Sometimes, people who swipe their credit cards in the metre think that because it’s taking so long to authorize, the transaction didn’t go through, and abandon the metre. So I scanned the ticket to look for credit card details.
There were none. This ticket was paid for in cash.
So there were three explanations. Either the person who paid for this ticket was horribly inept and baffled by a simple parking machine with clear instructions stickered to it, or this was part of a sting operation/hidden camera show to catch people red-handed taking other people’s parking tickets … or, this was some kind of pay-it-forward act of kindness from another person in my little city.
I spent about 5 minutes looking all around and over my shoulders for an unmarked cop car or a hidden camera crew to no avail, so I ruled that out. That left either someone’s stupidity or someone’s kindness.
And because I like to believe in the inherent kindness of strangers à la Blance duBois, I chose to believe the latter.
I put the ticket on my dash and enjoyed free parking all night.
I kept thinking about this for hours and hours after the fact. Well into the next day and night. It even kept me awake.
I like the pay-it-forward ethos and practice, although I haven’t actually put it into action, as far as I can recall, since I lived in Quebec as a little girl and left money purposefully behind in a park so that some other kids might find it.
I was jonesing for another opportunity to pay it forward, but wasn’t sure how.
As you guys know, I am embarking in a few days on a huge transnational extravaganza to Asia and Europe, so all of my money is currently being funnelled into those activities. So my pay it forward would have to be something beyond the realm of consumerism.
Besides, as the late great John Lennon said, you can’t buy me love.
I struggled with what I could do for days until one night I was engaging in my usual night time ritual of watching Christopher Hitchens debates on YouTube whilst doing Sudoku (both are exercises in improving your brain power, believe you me), when Hitchens proclaimed in one of his debates that his admiration is reserved for people who do good for their fellow human beings for the sheer joy of giving, rather than those who do it in exchange for prosthelytizing about their religion or out of fear of hell and the wrath of God. He said that one of his ways of doing such good was to give blood. He said that it was something that gave so much to your peers, whilst not really taxing you at all seeing as how your body replaces the blood anyway.
So at 11 o’clock at night, I called the Canadian Blood Services, made an appointment, and a few days later went into one of their clinics and donated a pint of my blood. I also signed up to be on the donor list for bone marrow and stem cells.
Okay, maybe the paid parking was just left there by a neurotic space-cadet who had no idea how to navigate even the simplest of tasks. If that’s the case, then they are probably horrible drivers. Horrible drivers cause accidents. Car accident victims almost always need blood transfusions.
The system works.
If you’re reading this, please consider this your invitation to pay it forward in your own way to your community.
And if you do, please let me know how you get on
***The first photo at the top wasn’t actually taken as I donated blood. That was taken back in 2008 when I was hospitalized for three days for acute tonsilitis and glandular fever in London, England. You can read all about that clusterfuck here!
ah Irving Berlin. C’est l’amour.
Check out my BleedingHeart category
do you see that?
as i was wandering around montreal, i kept seeing this stencil’d word everywhere! look closer.
voilà. this was on st-laurent and saint-viateur.
there it is again! this was at st-laurent and bernard.
and i was all, wtf! Godin sounds like a familiar name, but i wasn’t sure why someone had stencil’d it all over the city.
then i wandered behind the Mont-Royal metro station and saw this stencil’d onto the brick wall, facing the park.
so i guess Gerald Godin wrote the poem Tango de Montreal in 1983
okay so here’s my translation of this poem, let’s see how i do..
7:30 in the morning the Montreal metro
is full of immigrants
this world wakes up so early.
the old heart of the city
therefore still beats
thanks to them.
this old worn heart of the city
with its spasms
its heart murmurs
and all its faults
and all the reasons in the world that it would
I think my translation isn’t too shabby, actually. If anyone out there speaks better french than me, lemme know if I’ve made any mistakes!
kent avenue, greenpoint, brooklyn
ah, the sweet stench of love.
love is shit, n’est-ce pas?
found on wythe in Williamsburg
Welling Court, Queens.
give your love, keep your secrets
found on java street in greenpoint, brooklyn
found near intersection of euclid and lennox
the only lying i would do is in the bed with you
found in Little Italy
a couple weekends ago, i went up to cottage country and saw some snuggle-baby-cutie-patootie-bummie-lovie-wuvie-goooooooosies!!
(or, as regular humans call them, “geese”)
canada is infamous for its geese. they’re so (as the french would say) ah-dor-ah-bluh.
they’re also excellent parents. they were very protective of their young and almost charged us because we got too close.
anyway, enough of my crazy animal fetish of sorts. (animals rule)
have a great weekend, munchkins! watch out for geese crossing the road!
(apparently it is illegal to not break for geese if they’re crossing the road, and if you hit them, it’s a federal offence or something. ALWAYS BREAK FOR SNUGGLE BIRDIES! …. ahem…. geese)
here’s something fun for the weekend. Chrome now has this wicked fun extension called “Dat Shit Cray.” It turns all the “like” buttons on Facebook into “Dat Shit Cray” buttons. the caveat is that it only works if your facebook language is set to english. Mine is set to French, so I had to switch it over just to test out the extension.
after installing it, i perused some of my more wackier FB friends walls, but of course, no other friend of mine deserves a “dat shit cray” than mah boy liam.
case in point:
only two people think this shit is cray?
anyway, enjoy your weekend munchkins. make sure there’s lots of THIS!
(and if you can’t do this in person, BBM will suffice for now )
waaaaaaaaaaaaait a second.
this give me an idea …
i got a million of ‘em!
think you can do better than me?
This isn’t love.