leo photophile

Through a glass darkly

The Search

So something lies in wait. To be discovered. Ah but, the intrigue is not always there. All anyone can do is wait or half-heartedly try to push through. But no, not even then does it happen. All unsuspecting, however, I may catch the scent on the breeze and desire kindles.

 To the garret Staircase to the Herb Garret, St Thomas Street, SE1, September 2006

A year or two back, I had the urge to reread a book I read for the first time over thirty years ago. I recalled nothing about it except for a girl with an exotic name that figured somehow or other; the only impression she left on me was of someone standing in a doorway dressed in something silvery. That’s it. Even her name I couldn’t remember. And leaving through a secondhand copy I found – there it was between those unturned pages still -Sharon (not Rose of Sharon like in The Grapes of Wrath) Kincaid. Sharon Kincaid was the name. It sounded too plain now, not showbiz like then. I remembered the title of the book. Of course, I did.

So I started to read and as early as page 7, this:

This morning, for the first time in years, there occurred to me the possibility of a search.. As I watched, there awoke in me an immense curiosity. I was onto something.

An immense curiosity!

What is the nature of the search? This is page 9.

Really it is very simple, at least for a fellow like me: so simple it is easily overlooked.

This is Binx Bolling.

The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. This morning, for example, I felt as if I had come to myself on a strange island. And what does such a castaway do? Why, he pokes around the neighbourhood and he doesn’t miss a trick.

 Market porter Taking out the rubbish, Borough Market, September 2006

To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.

To think my eyes had passed over these words before without registering, at least not consciously. It must have been the bit before it that set up the bookmark, and which, with the passage of time,  had become planted in my mind as being about Miss Kincaid. Such are the mysterious processes of memory! Here it is:

 Miss Kincaid Standing in a doorway,  1993

This is page 8:

The idea of a search comes to me again as I am riding the Gentilly bus down Elysian Fields… Directly next to me, on the first cross seat, is a vey fine-looking girl. She is a strapping girl but by no means too big, done up head to toe in cellophane, the hood pushed back to show a helmet of glossy black hair… As the bus ascends the overpass, I discover that I am frowning and gazing at a noble young calf clad in gun-metal nylon. Now beyond question she is aware of me: she gives her raincoat a sharp tug and gives me a look of annoyance – or do I imagine this? I must make sure, so I lift my hat and smile at her. But it is no use. I have lost her forever. She flounces out of the bus in a loud rustle of cellophane.

Then it is the idea of the search occurs to me. I become absorbed and for a moment or so forget about the girl.

This is in fact not Sharon Kincaid. She turned up later on.

I felt on to something the moment I stepped into 12th Century priory church of St Bartholomew The Great, and returning with an air of high expectation I found there the shot I wanted.

 A sacred space A sacred space, St Bartholomew The Great, founded 1123, September 2006


September 28, 2006 Posted by | black and white photography, The Moviegoer, Walker Percy | Leave a comment