Today I write an elegy for a shoe and show you a river, a bridge, a chapel, some windows and indeed some doors. But most of all it’s about the experience.
Challenge 18: “Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.”
I still somehow refuse to be sad on prompt, but I did lose a shoe once.
To the other classic cream low top All Star
The day I discovered the planet was getting rid of us,
I was standing in the Soča river
trying not to die.
The river does not care for our survival instinct.
The river will be here after we are long gone
and will not be particularly sorry.
We had been teasing her all day.
Four of us in a military rubber boat with a thin floor,
brazing the rapids.
I was kneeling in the middle of the boat,
mindful of the rocks under my knees,
announcing swirls and waterfalls.
It was exactly what tourists are advised against.
But we were locals, sort of, from the capital,
and the river was our playground.
This sounds like we were ten.
Actually it was more like
When the rapids were done with,
I, adrenalin-crazed but unharmed,
jumped into the gloriously fresh, crystal-clear Soča.
I filled a big bottle with it to take home
and drink it in the capital.
It felt so decadent.
Then I swam to where she ran faster.
I saw a rock that looked stable.
I stepped on it -
and the river swept me along.
Just how we'll all be in time.
I felt my shoe slide off, tied and all.
I got angry underwater.
Oh no you won’t.
I gathered my strength,
pulled myself to the side where the flow was weaker
You didn’t get me
But you got my shoe.
I took the bottle home
and wrote SOČA on it with big letters
and drank from it for a week.
I hung the other shoe in my living-room
for all to see,
but mostly for me.
the shoe was saying.
“It’s slipping away one shoe at a time.
Just don’t be a bitch about it.
Don’t grab and take
and think the world is here for your amusement
when obviously it’s the other way around.”
And now to the photos. The locations are at and above this very river Soča (Isonzo in Italian) in the western Slovenia near Italy – just much lower down than the rapids from the poem – and the time is last August when my parents and I were showing amore some as yet unseen beauties of Slovenia, especially the chapel in the featured photo.
The memorial church of the Holy Spirit on Javorca plateau in the Julian Alps was built by the soldiers of the 3rd Austro-Hungarian Mountain Brigade from March 1st until November 1st 1916 in memory of their dead comrades who died on the Isonzo Front.
The soldiers burnt the names of 2565 comrades killed in the surrounding mountains into the “book of the dead”, the oak boards, made of ammunition cases, which open like the pages of a book along the walls of the church. One name looked vaguely familiar.
and for Day 18 of NaPoWriMo