"I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave far behind me." Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"The Gloves are off!" - Round #01: Abandoned

"You are hurt and worn out"
Ayumi Hamasaki 
Goyte and Fourth Floor Collapse - "Worn Out Blues"
"The Gloves are off!", at least in Gersthof, the area of Vienna where I live. Wandering from my apartment to the local transport junction, has taken an intriguing turn in the last few months. Major trackwork, on the tramlines, has been going on and will continue until the end of September.  I touched on the work in a previous essay, titled "Nuts in May".

The photographic opportunities afforded by this work to shoot some intriguing and offbeat photo studies has been overwhelming. I could be writing on a variety of topics and sharing the better photos for months on this trackwork. The photos above, of work gloves caught my attention on different days and in different places.

Worn-out and abandoned, the pair in the first photo, shot on a rainy day, were left laying on a section of bare tracks undergoing work. For more than a week, I passed this pair, unmoving and undisturbed, exactly how they were first shot. During this time, I contemplated a number of scenarios for their abandonment - the sad, the bad and the ugly. They finally disappeared when the area was cleaned, as the final work, for that section, went ahead and the plinths, between the sections of track, were put back into place.

The second shot of that one single left-handed work glove, laying on the section of footpath, given over to a shabby garden, was the one that set me think of that time given idiom "The Gloves are off!" I found it amusing that Gersthof seemed to have become a stage for worn-out and abandoned work gloves. This one glove, I cannot attribute directly to the trackwork, being found between the track work and a building, which at the same time,was undergoing renovation and covered by an outside layer of scaffolding. I also wondered where its partner was, and like the first pair it lay, where it was left, for over a week.

The more I thought about these photos, the more I thought about gloves. All types of gloves, their uses and the metaphoric messages they can sometimes convey to us. In the case of the gloves featured here, I began seeing them as a metaphor for abandonment and being worn out. It lead me to think on the how my life had been playing out, particularly the last months.

Learning to live for me, has seen me recently abandon the pseudo "Marquis of Queensberry Rules" that I have let rule my life since childhood, as a result of adverse conditioning and not having the luxury of learning boundaries. With the help of my therapist, (also touched in a previous post), I have realised that being the subject repeated narcissistic abuse, I finally understood that I needed to build those boundaries as well as cease feeling responsible for everyone else's actions as well as pandering to their whims and their behaviour.

I am finally learning to tell life as it is and learn to be me. I am ceasing to internalise issues and beginning to externalising them. By doing so, I feel I am finally growing into myself, at the same time reversing the childhood conditioning of one narcissistic parent. Coupled with that repairing the continuing damage of falling victim to other narcissistic individuals, which has been a consequence of that early conditioning.

The gloves above, not only quirky subjects to photograph, have ended up as a profound metaphor for abandoning old patterns of thinking and behaviour. These are worn-out, needing to be replaced by a better way of dealing with life and thoughts free of outside influence - glove free. The type of life I know my Dad always hoped I would have and the free thinking that comes with it. Amazing that photographing some worn-out abandoned gloves could end up having them turn into a metaphor for my current life journey.

Gloves will be featuring quite a lot in some of my future essays. Even though the “Marquis of Queensberry Rules” of life have been given the toss and the gloves are now off, there are always 12 rounds in completing a sparring match. I have at least another 11 rounds to go. There are more types of gloves out there, each having their own type of story and metaphoric message of life! 
"Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. 
A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, 
but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story."
Peter S. Beagle  

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