The Walk to Work

today in the snow

She was lying on the ground beside the garbage bins where I put my rubbish. Bishkek Park, a posh shopping center, is next door; maybe she lost her way from there. Or maybe she was tired of that life and this is as far as she got in her getaway plan.

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Through the park beside the White House. This stone path cuts a diagonal through the trees and ends up at the edge of Panfilov, an amusement park behind Parliament. Isn’t there some kind of metaphor at play when an amusement park is located directly behind the building that is the seat of governmental power?

I like this path because I get off Chui, the main drag, and into the trees. Plus: There is usually no one here, and I am rewarded with that gorgeous and fleeting sensation that I am alone in the middle of a city.

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In warmer months this half yurta is festooned with props (including a stuffed bear standing on all fours) and used as a backdrop for photos. In winter it looks broken and kind of lonely. When I walk past I am drawn to the chair. I fantasize about sitting there in some sort of ceremonial posture and waiting for the expressions of passersby. But I haven’t done that.

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Random shots in Panfilov. Forlorn is the only word I can think of for an amusement park that sits quiet and empty. But there is also a kind of hopefulness that radiates from the bright colors. They telegraph that despite snow and winter and stillness, warmer days will come once more and so will people to fill the rides. They will return to be amused.