Slept very well until the day started ‘hoisting it’s terrible bells’ (Waking, Emma Jones) and I got up and made a tea and had an apple. Right.
In the spirit of curiosity, I started walking along a walking route to the main square. From searching the weather online, I knew the haziness to be fog.
The centre is modest and neat, and I’m sure a sunken park was set with flower beds. I asked at a tourist office, sat in a cathedral, and then came out and it was raining. In a lunchless daze I walked to the Upper Town, and the foggy skyline of green copper domes, some old blocks of flats off in the distance.
I was at the Museum of Broken Relationships. The exhibition is objects left from the Broken Relationship, relinquished there, with the story on the card.
The stories make the objects less mundane: the cheap chiffon blouse a woman was wearing to a restaurant when her husband announced he was leaving her; the dog light a man’s ex-wife sent him after he left her, which he asks to be displayed lit —’the batteries can be replaced’—it reminds him of a heart beating, she took her own life a year after they parted; soft toys, wedding dresses; money to use ‘next time’, but there was no next time; socks, scarfs, burnt CD’s, an ax, coats; a garter ‘perhaps it wouldn’t have ended if I‘d worn it’. The relationships were months or decades.
People are sometimes frightened animals. Somehow, the stories animated the objects, especially the forlorn, cheap polyester ones. Some people thought they’d wasted their time, some maybe rather the heartbreak than nothing. Life isn’t anything to plan out, and somehow if it happens, in this cast off way, then there’s nothing better. The museum made me feel like the students in Galway Kinnell’s poem ‘The Correspondence-School Instructor Says Goodbye to His Poetry Students’, ‘that urge toward more life’.
After that I met a couple from A—, went to the Gallery of Naive Art. I went to the memorial of the bombing of Zagreb, and walked back. It was raining and I’d had enough.