This is a fanciful bit of topography.
Some time ago, I drew a comic strip that documented the changes in the 2 1/4 acre landscape where I grew up. I pondered awhile about whether these changes stirred me. The answer, of course, was that they didn’t and they did.
(So befitting a blog. This blog. Every blog.).
This is an image of where I work. It is a library. Once upon a time it was–and still is, maybe–a fallout shelter. I reversed the dark and light elements of the symbol thereof. In reality, it is there beside a slanted parking lot, across from a local produce market, and cater-corner from an even more singular fish market, founded by a man named Gus Angle. There are bricks amid the pavement where one ought to cross from market to library.
Some of that is depicted here. I’ve taken the liberty of drawing ventilation fans where there are none (or are they knobs like those that protrude from the front of a stovetop?), and tubes and dots or ducts where one might, in reality, stumble upon a tiny butterfly garden. I can’t say that this topographic portrait is emotionally true, even, for it looks like a cargo vessel adrift over a sweltering planet, beset with unnecessary bricks when the feel of area is, in reality … municipal. Halls and courthouses and walls speckled with barred windows and old pipes.
I wanted to offer an impression of these places using the visual vocabulary that seems to have marked my work for the past couple of years. Walker Percy once wrote (something like) about how a sense of a place is as palpable as a unique bird that perches on your shoulder–exceptional. Many places I’ve been were never so spectacular; it is only time and habit that rendered them into birds whose shape I can sense.