––   005   ––

The Place 

Luca was looking for something but he couldn’t quite say what it was. Here’s what he had figured out so far: he was looking for something that would make him feel better. When forced to describe the something he was looking for, that’s about as far as he could get.

He knew how the something would feel. Not so much how the thing itself would feel, to touch or to hold for example, but how the thing would make him feel, which was alive and open and unencumbered. Luca would never have used that last word, unencumbered, to describe the way the thing would make him feel, because Luca was much too small to know that word. But unencumbered, yes, that’s the gist of the feeling that Luca was hoping to find in the something he was currently looking for. And yes, his lack of appropriate vocabulary to describe the something might very well have hindered his search.

Luca looked all over the city, high and low, for his something. He looked and looked and looked, then looked some more. He lifted things up to see how they felt to hold. He nudged things a bit to see how they wobbled. He shouted into things to hear the shape of their echo. He leaned against things to gauge the strength of their resolve. But in one way or another, all the somethings he tried left him wanting. Slowly, surely, and with a sense of desperation, Luca began to wonder if he would ever find his something.

Then, after weeks of wondering what the something might be, Luca had a breakthrough. He figured out, perhaps because he knew instinctively that he didn’t need to touch or to hold the something, that he wasn’t looking for a something after all. He was looking for a somewhere.

That night, after dinner, Luca made a list of the qualities he would look for in his somewhere and his Mom helped him improve upon the list. Here is Luca’s final list of qualities:

a place that is big

a place where you can move around really fast

a place that is quiet, with interesting noises all around it

a place that needs some company

a place that you can go to anytime

a place with smooth ground

a place with lots of different ways to play

a place with a good mix of sunlight and hiding spots

a place with a neat echo

a place where it's ok to think about anything

a place that is special, even though nobody notices it

The next morning, with his list in hand, Luca set off across the city with newfound vigor. He could really feel what the place would be like now and it excited him to no end. He would look for a little while and then check the list, then look a little more, then check the list. Occasionally, in between looking and checking, he would spend a few minutes thinking about all of the things he would do in the place once he found it.

Then, after many hours of looking with the list as his guide, just as the afternoon sun began to dance between the buildings and the city shifted into a different rhythm, Luca rounded a corner and knew instantly that he had found the place.

New York, New York
October, 2016

Leica Q

Originally Published
November, 2016

Else, just keep moving.

is made by
Nathan Heleine


Images found/made with a small assortment of film & digital cameras then edited in Capture One & Lightroom. Stories written in Ulysses. Site designed with Affinity & published with Cargo.

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