In the art museum, the average person used to pause approximately ten seconds in front of an artwork before moving on. Today, that person pauses ten seconds while photographing the artwork with their telephone, then moves on. From this we can infer that despite the passage of time, life continues in much the same pattern, only better documented.
In front of Rousseau, the woman snapped a photo and said, He was a toll collector.
Second woman: A toe collector?
First woman: Toll. Toll. Toll.
Second woman: Why would he collect toes?
First woman: It says…toll.
Second woman, to me: I just don’t understand.
Second woman, let’s not make this new February of ours a month of misunderstandings. Instead, let me take your photo in front of this triumph of six stars and paper cut moon and mountains and then let us read what it says together. The words are not always simple, but as Rousseau said of his sleeping subject, There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.
Today we welcome and honour a new child to the world, a new collection of ten toes, born in the night under waning crescent to dear friends K & M. Her name, we are told, means radiance.
Issue 14 · February 2012
Table of contents
- Postcard Prose
- Travel Notes