Lunch Hour

harvest moon

My friend and I sometimes meet in the middle of a day, at that hour when working people everywhere are instructed to eat their lunches.

We linger inside the wide corridors of empty museums and art galleries, feigning interest in art and portraits of early settlers long dead.

They all look terribly stern and purposeful wearing their finery; a tall gentleman in high boots and a stiff black coat, a lady in an elegant rust-coloured gown trimmed with delicate lace. Their gazes are unwavering.

I wonder what they would have seen stepping of the boats for the first time; a windswept bay kneeling under the hills, a big round moon hanging closer to the shores than the one they left behind. Could they have foreseen the streets and alleys of the city they were yet to build? Imagined churches to which they will bring their new-born children, cemeteries in which they will be laid to rest. Or have they simply walked in wonder; ready to make new lives from whatever lay before them.lady

Strolling under the steady gaze of Victorian gentry, my friend and I exchange news, discuss current affairs and talk (a little) about our lives.

Troubles are brewing everywhere; wars and unrests, protests and slaughters … There is hardly anything new about that.

And writing is in no better state either; everyone is writing a novel, or a poem, or a play, but hardly anyone reads anything anymore, not properly anyway, not with so much on offer.  Besides, anything that matters at all has already been written, and if it has not, somebody with access to the internet will write it soon enough.

The fact is; in a grand scheme of things we are just tiny specks of cosmic dust. Despite our prolonged and somewhat feverish claims to the contrary; we remain expiratory spices that suffer from chronic and apparently incurable delusions of grander.

He has Irish eyes that smile despite the desolate prospects, and my refusal to give up dreams amuses him. It is no small act of kindness on his part to listen to so much desperate hope; on wholesomeness of love as the only true condition of humanity, importance of selflessness,  aims of generosity, beauty of tears, significance of poetry, warmth of a hug … it really is no small act of kindness.

As if on cue, he would always glance at his watch and we would slowly move towards the exit. It is time to return to our respective offices. Which is almost always before I had a chance to talk about ‘Under the Harvest Moon’ or Henry Miller or even Ana Akhmatova.

On my way, I thought about a young girl whose portrait I saw hanging in the gallery. Her long chestnut curls loosely confined inside a pale-lavender scarf. And I wondered whether she ever spoke to anyone of clean, well-lit salons where she will play piano and receive her suitors, and which only she could see while looking over the vast, empty and uncharted land.

harvest moon

Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

34 thoughts on “Lunch Hour”

  1. I like the sound of

    The fact is; in a grand scheme of things we are just tiny specks of cosmic dust.

    and

    on wholesomeness of love as the only true condition of humanity

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    1. With overload of information coming at us from every corner, we are becoming more and more accustomed to quickly skim through the material, just giving it a glance rather than a careful, thoughtful look.

      Many thanks for reading and commenting,

      Daniela

      Like

  2. I am impressed with the impressions you glean from your museum meanderings. You are always so thoughtful that you make me search each word and sentence for deeper meanings and secrets to life. A lovely post Daniela.

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  3. I absolutely adore how you can invoke passion while writing with such delicate warmth. I just marathon-read most of your posts since I haven’t been on your blog in some time and can I just say I’m a little teary-eyed and full of ambition :’)

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  4. I still do read, and write. The process of writing takes me a long time to brew the mood and emotion that are entangled with words, and time is limited, and most of it I have shared with my family and friends. It is true that people are eager to let others hear what they have said, and not vice versa. I have learned to live with the fact, but to never give up to listen to what people have said (in facebook, and the blogs). As Ernest Hemingway put it this way:

    “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

    Often we are too concern if the World could hear us (our writings, songs, etc), but isn’t that we should also learn to listen to ourselves, for us created the perception of the World.

    kc

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    1. Dear KC,

      Goes without saying that seeing you under the Lantern is always a pleasure … thank you for visiting. What you said resonates with me very strongly as it reflects my own thoughts. As humans we seek recognition and acceptance from other humans, it is part of our nature. Not so long ago we used to live in communities and meet our social needs through direct interactions with each others. Since the onset of IT revolution, more and more of us turn to computers for interactions, hence the proliferation of so called social media, blogging, and numerous meeting/chat sites, etc. As a result we have a very noise, very crowded virtual worlds where millions compete to be heard … but very few are listening, which is not surprising giving the absence of the real-life presence. Hemingway was right; a great deal can be learned from listening … but one has to be next to the speaker in a real life to truly listen; not only words spoken but all those tiny little gestures that form part of the speech.

      Many thanks for reading and commenting,
      Daniela

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  5. Great writing and style I daresay. What jumps out at me are these lines which you have so assiduously put in the middle.

    “Despite our prolonged and somewhat feverish claims to the contrary; we remain expiratory spices that suffer from chronic and apparently incurable delusions of grandeur.”

    But as I muse about this, I wonder if we were to have been shorn of such ‘delusions of Grandeur’, could we have given birth to these works of Art and Galleries which you have been frequenting and writing about?

    Shakti

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    1. Hi Shakti,

      Thank you for reading and for writing such a thoughtful comment. Your question is a very good one indeed as it reveals a little bit about how the piece might be interpreted. Reference to our ‘delusions of grandeur’ was meant as in comparison to other spices. Having said that, I do believe that magnificent works of art have been and continue to be born from the depth of human hearts, where all the love and all the anguish resides, rather than any delusions, including those of grandeur.

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

      Like

  6. I am sure she did; I am sure she did. But perhaps the person she spoke to and the way she spoke were different now from how it would have been in her old world. New worlds, new landscapes seem to require us to negotiate a new type of communication.

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  7. Wow Daniela, I was not expecting that. I read the title and was imagining a post about how you stole away at lunch and wrote. I love the thought of you at the museum and how you pull the stories right out of the paintings. Your descriptions are so vivid. Thank you for a delightful “lunch”. When looking at art, I have always been drawn to the portraits or scenes with people in them as I wanted to learn their stories.

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  8. wonderful! sometimes as I wander among paintings of art,I wonder what they were thinking as the paint, did they whisper a secret in each brush strok that was laid to canvas….and is that what we hear in the silence….
    LOLs, I thought you were going for a secret getaway for lunch too….
    I think he is listening closer than you realize……
    This is a very thought-thinking post….and I wonder what is in between the lines of your thoughts….
    Take care…Daniela….
    You Matter…
    )0(
    ladyblue

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    1. Dear Lady Blue,

      It is always a pleasure to find your footprints under the Lantern, thank you very, very much. I love art and paintings do tell stories; they show us the world as the artist saw it.

      Sometimes I wonder too … quite often actually -:)!

      All the Best,
      Daniela

      Like

  9. This is my lunch hour, Daniela. Normally I just catch up on emails, but today your took me along on an amazing museum jaunt and allowed me to listen in on your thoughts and conversation. My made my break an adventure.

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  10. This is a beautiful piece, and very thought provoking too! I often wonder about the people in paintings and also old photographs too. I found a Flickr account once that had nothing but hundreds of really old photographs – fascinated me for far too long!! I find if you stare at the person in the portrait long enough it’s as if their personality can be seen out of that often plain and straight little face!

    But I guess they were just like us really, and one day someone will be staring at our picture or admiring some writing and wondering – who we really were!

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    1. Hi -:)

      Thank you so much for visiting and for such a wonderful comment! It is almost like a little bit of magic we experience when watching portraits of people we never knew!

      I am sure you are right; one day somebody, living the reality different to one we have known, might as well wonder who were people writing these very lines -:)!

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

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  11. Everyone has their own writing style and way of viewing life, so it’s highly plausible that whatever events occur, have not already been written about in that specific way. Never give up on big dreams. If you dream smalls, that’s all you are going to get. I never thought I would meet HM the Queen or speak to her at St James’s Palace but I did on the 15th of July. I changed my mindset a few years ago, I now believe dreams can come true and that anything is possible if you take action to get it. I am living proof that they can.

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    1. Hi -:)!

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment! I do remember your piece on meeting HM the Queen; I was quite taken by it! It must have been quite magical -:)!

      Many thanks for encouragement … we all need it as we all need to keep our dreams alive!

      Take Care,
      Daniela

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  12. You do write such thoughtful pieces. I can’t just go through and read a bunch at one time. There is always something to think about and go back and reread. For example, I lived the line, feigning interest in art.. . We do feign interest at first, then something grabs our attention, as it did yours, and causes us (me) to think about what that person may have lived through. All of the sudden, I am not feigning interest any more. How about you? Your post doesn’t sound like feigned interest. 🙂

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    1. Hi -:)

      I do love art even if sometimes starts with feigning an interest in it as you rightly identified. But then art has this peculiar ability to keep you looking, and in doing so seeing the world, even if just for a moment, through the eyes of an artist. In that way art opens a new window into our world behind which lies a vista we have not glanced before even if we have already seen the landscape.

      Many thanks for reading and commenting,
      Daniela

      Like

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