Oral History

Stories of life.
Episodes of love.
Happenings, mischiefs, secrets.

This morning on the bus. Traffic held up, unknown distortions of accidental grief perhaps. Disparate lives thrown together, reflected back in faces of the next car by car. The gift of time.

My desire to keep the hands busy unfolds a sandwich, carefully wrapped, meant for later, but now….
The woman across the isle reveals a blood orange hidden in her purse. “Where did you find such a gem, here in this winter-land?” A neighbor’s gift she says, smuggled in across the border no doubt. I think of borders, territories marked by rivers and unseen lines. Where does a country begin and another end…what story abruptly stops, its thread left to unravel or find a new cloth? I think of wide pheasant feet crossing an expanse of harsh words, pages undecipherable or better, blank, waiting new adventures. I think brown bodies wading through darkness, precious bundles held overhead, carefully wrapped against the wide river’s currents, its flow toward another existence, another telling. I think, making it, making it, but scared, uncertain, the past so familiar but left behind, the future….

“Is that a peanut butter and banana?” “Almond butter and banana, on wheat, cut on the bias.” “I’ll trade you half my orange for half that sandwich cut on the bias.” Deal. A story of diversity.

Like the star light. Not your own or even your galaxy. What story does its light carry, what cargo does it deliver your wondering eyes, your sensitive skin. Does its star warm a people? Systems of food production? A way of life? Does it still burn through the eons? What about the dirt under your own feet? Whose feet came before? Were they happy? On their way? Or did the tale get complicated, devolve into unrecognizable meanings?

The faces in the next car, pre-occupied in conversation, hands fiddle the radio, minds lost in the argument from the night before…the spouse, you love but…the child trying to find their own place in the world…you want to hold on but letting go…a story not your own…so hard.

Everyone passes over the road. The same road…wills and wants…pains and joys…awareness and mindlessness. All the same road.

Blood orange juices my chin.

Oral History

kenroome

Concord, United States

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Artist's Description

Bus ride thoughts.

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