shoes on a wire


This is another photo of a photo. Well, it’s a photo of DVD being played through a laptop.

I like the way it looks. I like the colour of it and I have always been a little bit curious about shoes slung over phone wires. Does it really mean there’s a tinny house in the vicinity or is that just urban legend? Or is it just drunken antics? And is there someone out there, roving nearby with cracked heels and shredded soles, wanting their shoes back?

Is there something symbolic about shoes on a wire? Sort of like how shoelaces get confiscated in prisons due to the threat of them being used as a suicide aid? Or is it just a random thing that happened because shoes lend themselves to flinging and staying put more than, say, underpants? And who first thought to sling their shoes, and why? What is the heritage of shoes on wires? Can we consider it a sport, like gumboot throwing? Or just bored tomfoolery?

Simon and I got each other photography for Christmas, by this guy, and one of the photos is of shoes on phone wires. Which is why I thought to revisit this photo, in case you were guessing at its significance.

I took this photo of Simon’s laptop earlier this year. We were staying in The Lighthouse out past Island Bay. I imagined that I would be drinking martinis and reading Virginia Woolf whilst looking out at the sea and the lights of fishing and cargo boats and ferries. That seemed like appropriate behaviour for lighthouse dwelling. As it turned out we made a sort of platter of wine and beer. We fashioned a movie-watching station out of cushions but I think I spent more time looking out at seagulls – and taking this photo – than I did actually watching movies. 

I hardly slept that night. The waves and wind were loud and got my thoughts all agitated, as I recall. That’s what I think of when I look at this photo; that’s the specific memory I attach to this.

As I am writing this I am relying on shonky country broadband – wireless, no less – and am a little bit nervous about hitting publish and losing all these words to the cyber abyss.

It is Boxing Day, stinking hot, and I’m on a bit of a Nick Cave jag. And now I’m going to do some real writing. Not that this isn’t real, it’s just not as hard. Are hard things more real than easy ones? Can gain come without some par-for-the-course pain? Or is it just that you appreciate something more if you have busted a gut for it? And I shall leave you to ponder this (or I will leave you you with absolutely nothing, if I hit publish and find I have lost all connectivity).


One Response to “shoes on a wire”

  1. Are hard things more real? Good question. Maybe just more satisfying when we manage to push ourselves to actually do them. Happy writing, x jo

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