Faroe Islands, Niels – Eyes as Big as Plates series – Riita Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, 2015
Niels had been there on the beach so long he cannot remember a time when he had been anywhere else. He had become as much a part of the landscape as the weather-beaten and lichen-covered rocks that lined the island’s coastline. His family had left him on the beach during Operation Valentine, and they had never remembered to pick him up again. Or maybe they didn’t want to take him home, Niels was never sure. Over the years, he gradually became covered in barnacles, seaweed and other oceanic detritus, which made him seem less human and more merman or selkie. The only time he moved was during the high tide when small tide pools formed near his sheltering rocks. Then he would use his bare hands to pry open the shells of the sea urchins and crabs unfortunate enough to wander close enough to him.
Tuija – Eyes as Big as Plates series – Riita Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, Finland 2012
“Immerse yourself in the local waters…Become one with nature,” the local tour guides said.
I came here to get away from my hectic life in the city and relax, and next thing I know I am camped out in the Finnish wilderness in the springtime with the a group of strangers. Everyone is sitting around the campfire bundled up in sleeping bags because even though it is May, it’s still a frigid outside. Then one of our hosts grabs a bottle of Lakka, aka Cloudberry Liqueur, and suddenly we’re all dancing around the fire like a couple of Finnish nature shamans. The next thing I know am naked, breast high in the water with lily pads on my head like a headdress of one of the nymphs of Ahti, god of sea and lakes, grinning coyly up at my hosts.
The Look…Edinburgh – Thomas Leuthard, May 2011
I stood outside the bookstore cafe in Edinburgh on an afternoon off from university, people watching and taking pictures when I saw her. She was a young Afghani woman in a patterned hijab, trenchcoat, and only the edge of a lace-covered sleeve poking out. She was staring right back at me with the most brilliant green eyes and oh the stories she could tell with just one glance. What was in those eyes that just drew you in? Was she sad, amused, or perhaps simply contemplative, with her hand resting lightly on her head almost as an afterthought? I imagined she was a tourist freshly come to Scotland, and visiting family in the city. Or she could be a local mother finally getting a quiet moment to herself, after getting her kids off to school. Or maybe she was student like me, enjoying a much-deserved break after cramming for exams.
Full Moon Service – Erik Johannson, 2017
Once a month they drove through the grasslands to deliver the moon. This is what the Man in Moon, the head honcho, called the Full Moon Service. There were so many of kinds that they fell out of the van, bursting forth and tumbling onto the ground. It took awhile to put the moons in an order and determine which one was needed tonight. The Super Moon was their first pick. They pulled the lever in the tree, directly under where it should be, and the Earth would tilt exactly where it needs to be so that the Moon appeared close enough to touch. The craters are magnified and appear in sharp relief to the rest of the moon’s pocked surface. One delivery woman holds the Super Moon aloft, while the other got on a ladder to place it in the night sky.
Norway Astrid II – Eyes as Big as Plates series – Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, 2011
Walking through the Norwegian woods on overcast autumn day, Astrid found herself foraging through the local flora and fauna. I refuse to pay that much for produce and why should I? she asked herself introspectively. She had already found chanterelle mushrooms, dandelion greens, hazelnuts and blackberries. Astrid was thinking of the salad she would make with greens and berries, and the mushroom and nut stuffing which would perfectly go with the turkey breast she had at home. She liked the taste of the bird, even though it was hard to find in rural Norway. She continued searching for that one special ingredient to make the dinner complete. “Rhubarb!” she exclaimed triumphantly, adding “I will make a crumble!”. Astrid was so ecstatic to have finally found it after looking all day in the forest, that she started dancing around, putting some on her head and shoulders.
The Last Symphony #6 – Jean Yves Lemoigne, Jan 2012
“Moment of Peace”
The group was on their way to the S&M themed Fashion Show at FIT. They were decked out feather masks, pleather, gimp masks and lots of tight black pants, but no one batted an eyelash at their attire. This was NYC after all. They stopped when they found the open door to the studio, and inside were orchestra instruments with no one was around to guard them. Everyone grabbed one and started to play. Nikolaj, in his bondage top made of black silk ropes, had actually attended Juilliard for about two years before giving it all up to become an actor. He was a classically-trained harpist and still played at weddings in his in-between time acting gigs. His fingers plucked the wires and the calming sounds of Greensleeves came out of the instrument. I always loved this piece, he thought to himself as his fingers delicaticately strummed the chords.
Play Me, I’m Yours – Thomas Leuthard, May 2013
“Play Me, I’m Yours”
I found the cafe during my lunch break, and heard the jazz piano music drifting like a zephyr as I passed. I pause, hearing the familiar strains of Take the A-Train and sing a little bit of the song quietly to myself as I open the door and go inside. I buy a cappuccino at the register and carry it with my book in hand. Walking behind the lone piano player heading to an empty chair, the young man briefly looks up at me as I move past him. He then goes back to mumbling the chorus of the song under his breath as he plays, and I smile. After the song finishes, he gets up and walks away. The piano is tempting me with its ebony and ivory keys and it seems to be whispering Play Me, I’m Yours. Will I be able to resist the temptation?