Thursday, February 21, 2008
Clop. Clop. Clop. Clop. Never since The Battleship Potemkin, that moment in film on Odessan stairs: soldiers, civilians, blood and a baby carriage rolling unattended to its fate - never had such a scene of revolution presented itself, albeit in the category of humoresque. Three donkeys on three stone steps, each clopping from one end of the step to the other, meticulous tick-tocking, a synchronized trio. As the donkeys reached the end of their walk, invariably at the same moment, they twisted around with a flurry of hops and clops, landing about-face and beginning again the slow clops to the other end. Synchronized swimmers are less of a marvel, lacking, as they do, elongated ears, furry tails and the shaggy fuzz of burro bellies.
A crowd built as steadily and rhythmically as the beasts of burden paced their narrow gangways. These were pack animals, so it wasn't surprising that the movements of the creatures held up and carried the pulse of time, became the new ticks of time, the space between clops defining the new second, and delineating these new seconds from other, subsequent seconds, the turning-in-place defining the minute. Faces watched and continued to watch, not without impression. Hours slipped past. Then it happened. A birth. A zeitgeist carried by lightning not seen but felt in the mind. The next day throughout the land, the new way of fashion was there, the result of instant incubation. Fabric was thrown off. Discarded. Passé. The mysteries of bodies male and female gave themselves from breast to pelvis through shaggy fur pasted in place, ears like big furry almonds, a bushy tale hanging behind, and shoes that went clop.
Banno, whose site is called Banno, Dhanno and Teja, invited me to borrow one of her photos for a story. Not this one, actually, but I just fell in love with this picture, taken by Teja.