When I first heard the word cityscape, I thought this was where cities escaped to. Here is where some of my cities are hiding. Above is Ljubljana where I’m from.
Just as I was ready to begin collecting photos for this post, I read the poem by my friend Lidija Dimkovska about coming back to her city of origin, which is Skopje in Macedonia, from my city of origin, which is Ljubljana in Slovenia, which is where she lives now with her husband and daughter.
Columbia Journal posted five of her poems in translation and all are excellent, but this one is my favourite. Please, read it. This is how I sometimes feel too. Her finish is pretty harsh though.
Going back, by Lidija Dimkovska
Translated by Ljubica Arsovska and Patricia Marsh
When you go back to your home town
you visit museums and galleries,
pause to listen to the buskers,
light candles in all the churches,
buy books by local authors
and the CDs by local bands
which have come out over the last six months,
treat yourself to some chocs from the town factory facing bankruptcy,
make a detour to the outdoor market you haven’t visited for a long time,
meet friends for an hour or two
before going to a local film or theatre production
they’re not interested in,
you do a lightning tour of your home town
in just a few days, drinking water from the bottle in your bag,
buying souvenir magnets and keyrings,
sitting on all the surviving benches
from your past,
turning down all the alleyways that have remained the same,
taking photos of the new buildings which look like warts,
mumbling to yourself, incomprehensible to everyone else,
when you go back to your home town
you realize you no longer have one,
that it has turned into a simple fact in a document,
Place of Birth, a point of birth and of no return.
Here are some places of birth and points of (no) return, then, in this order:
- London from Greenwich. 2 photos
- Prague from two locations (one was the castle, I suppose). 2 photos
- Rome from Monte Mario. 2 photos
- Velenje, Slovenia. 1 photo
- Piran, Slovenia. 3 photos
- Ljubljana, Slovenia. 6 photos
Even though I live quite far away (about 777 km), the last one, no 6, is both, place of birth and home town. For as long as she wants me, I’m hers.
(Click on any photo and allow it to grow.)
For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Patti of pilotfishblog.com: Cityscapes