Gloves and Parakeets by Jack Wheeler
No matter how far you walk you can never escape the voices inside your head. The trick is to find ways to quieten or distract them. A trick I had to learn in January 2021 when my anxiety and stress levels all but incapacitated me. I live in Greenwich, about fifteen minutes walk from Greenwich Park, home to the Royal Observatory, the equestrian events at the 2012 Olympics and also to one of London’s flocks of wild parakeets. The walk to the park was a way to distract the voices. I made it my mission to photograph the lost and abandoned gloves of London. Each day I took a different route and each day offered new finds. All gloves are disposable if you want them to be, there is a metaphor there for how we live, a clunking, obvious and potentially terrifying metaphor. This was one way to quieten the voices in my head. The other distraction is in the park, enter on Maze Hill, walk to the top of the park and at some point a chorus of screeches and a formation of neon green aliens will assail you. London’s wild parakeets, their origin an urban myth of escaped pets and dockland stowaways. Considered a pest and ripe for a cull. No! Sit in the park, close your eyes, let their cries envelop you and relax. No you can’t walk far enough to escape the voices inside your head, but sometimes just trying is enough.
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