Sunday, 22 August 2010

Camden Market.

The scent of incense. This place needs a ghost. But wait... I think I can see one. A dark shadow, a simple human shape. She steps silently over the flagstones. Brushing past the visitors, the stall owners, the tourists. Although part of me wants to wipe the slate clean of modern influences, to wash the canvas clean of this century's clothing, to rub away the imprints of our culture's footprints, another part realizes that the mix of now and then, the collision of the periods, and the compilation of evidence of the ages, is what makes this tapestry so bright, so attractive. And this ghost of a figure beckoning me through them seems to fit in with both.

But does the camera move towards the modern? Nope, it is the antiques that catch my attention. I gasp as I turn from one corner to the next, my delight making my heart beat fast and my cheeks flush. The shape I am following clasps metal bars between her two hands and stares through them at the collection of the past. She trails her hands along the keys of a piano covered in music sheets. She stops to study a wall of old suitcases. She spins in the shattered light reflected off the mirrors stacked in a locked room. I follow her in a daze. It is only when I pause to look at the photos I have collected that I lose her.

But by then I am in a different realm. The taste of piracy is in the air. Silver fob watches spin on thick chains. Flattened bottles laze on a black table, cupping glass beads. Oh, do we covet. But within all these treasures we find... perfection. One each. We hold them in our hands as if they are made of fairy dust, and clutch them to our bodies as though they are living and breathing: A chance corner leads us to colour. Thick, smooth, durable leather, bound around notebooks and decorated with tarnished metal. KeyChild finds her dream, in the shape of a purple leather notebook with a brass coloured key and heavy cream pages. She holds it as though she'll never let it go. A few meters later and, still clutching her prize, she points out a white-lit stall. Lined with heavy vases, it glitters in the light. From its ceiling are hung dozens of sparkling glass creations. Birds, magpies, flying horses, fish, faires; all spinning and glinting. I am filled with awe. And BlueBird finds her beauty, in the form of an aqua glass bird, with a dark head and wings uplifted in flight. I cup it in my palms as though a breath of air would wake it, and lift it, fluttering, from my fingers. Before the day had even properly begun, we had found our inspirations.

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