Ax

Standing at that street corner, dazed by the mid day heat of summer: this petite and straightforward woman rides by on her bike, laboriously carrying a full size sledgehammer, upside down by the end of its shaft.

↓ Working title: “Axegeis?” (540 x 598 mm)

540x598

540x598

Consciousness snapped back with the image. Like an instant enigma, a flash of divination. Still reeling I crossed the street, hot rubber kissing the tip of my right foot as a car swam by engaging its horn. The vision got knocked in to my cornea for an eternal second and the titillating scene seeded an inferno at the end of my spine, shooting blind impulses at my cerebellum and beyond.

For months now I have tried to read the riddle. Deciphering and paraphrasing the visual, trying to force transparency onto the fetish. Listen … the Danes are a tribe of cyclists and I’m as devoted as any. Albeit a little late in life – I was six and already a wimp, I woke up one morning having dreamed of teaching myself how to keep balance, got up and outside and just did it: ran my bike straight in to the nearest wall and then out in to the world. And yet I can not solve the formula of woman, hammer and two-wheeled motion.

There’s a bodily satisfaction in pedalling yourself forward at speed, by your own faculty. I’ve watched the muscles of my thighs build over the stretch of just a few weeks, I’ve shuttled the most awkward items on my faithful wheeled vehicle (or tried to) and I’ve had some seriously rough exposures to tarmac, gravel, more masonry and fellow road users.

So there is clearly something physical at hand with this matter. In that observation. Somewhere in my mind. When that woman teetered by. Carrying a sledgehammer? A tool for back-breaking labor, an object of brutality, a symbol of crude energy and immense authority, far to hefty for her delicate build and most obviously not one she was used to carry along (seen from a point of gravity it would have been easier to carry the hammer by its head one would think?) Still she jerked me out of my stupor in the middle of the street and faded out of view. Flummoxed, I still am. A bafflement now partly consigned to board. The investigation still in process.

Standing at a street corner, oblivious in the heat of summer and this mousey housewife rides by on her bike, laboriously carrying a sledgehammer upside down by the end of the shaft.

↓ Working title: “Ax me?” (540 x 598 mm)

540x598

And oblivion turned to a full-on mysterious quasi-revelation as I crossed the street, the image seared in to my cornea for a moment. The whole thing turned me on, flicked a switch in my gut, fired crisscrossing axons in my brain. Of what is a conundrum to this day. Even after visually dissecting it for a few months. Now … I love riding my bike, as do a lot of people in this tribe we call the Danes. There’s something physically gratifying in propelling yourself forward at speed, by your own power. I’ve watched the muscles of my thighs expand over the expanse of just a few weeks, I’ve transported the most unwieldy objects on two wheels (or tried to) and I’ve had some severely abrasive contacts with tarmac, gravel, walls and even cars. So there is definitely something corporeal going on. In that image. Somewhere in my mind. When that woman rode by. With a sledgehammer? A tool for hard work, an object of violence, a symbol of brute force and overwhelming power, far to heavy for her petite stature and most obviously not one she was used to carry along (it would’ve been easier to carry it by the head? I’m guessing. Who am I to know.) Nevertheless she made me stop in the middle of the street as she vanished down the street. Perplexed, I was. And almost run over by another cyclist of life. The image has since been analysed, altered, interpreted, over-worked, re-worked and now half committed to board.

I’m still confused. And turned on. What?