I am collecting photos of doors. Sometimes my eyes and camera are subject to amnesia and repeat earlier photos, as if I had lost the map to my previous tours of the neighborhood.
Sometimes I can’t locate the photo of a door I remember—is it missing? or am I evading the fact that occasionally I can’t distinguish what I’ve seen from what I’ve imagined?
No matter. Like the fool I will keep stepping over the cliff, the one that falls into more photos of more doors.
lost and then
found again—the door
The Schinasi Mansion is located on Riverside Drive at 107th Street in Manhattan. I lived nearby for many years, and the rumor was that it was owned by a Columbia University professor, although it always looked as if no one lived there. When the house was listed for sale in 2011, I viewed the listing with its floor plan and interior photos with interest.
The doors are imposing, but not exciting. But the mansion has an interesting history and its own Wikipedia page. After being a private residence for the Schinasi family, it has been a finishing school, a daycare center, and a coed residential center for Columbia/Barnard students. Hans Smit, a Columbia professor, bought the mansion from the university in 1979. He restored the house and used it for hosting events, and sold it to Mark Schwartz, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs in 2013.
The architect was William Tuthill, who also designed Carnegie Hall.
My haibun is a loose intepretation and response to Maxine Chernoff’s “Lost and Found” for Laura at dVerse. I used it to accompany this week’s Thursday Doors because these are doors I’ve photographed multiple times without exactly remembering it. I did not do the mansion itself, however, until a few weeks ago when it was quiet and I could stand in the street without fear of being run down to get the entire house in my lens.
And it’s true that sometimes I can’t remember the source of an image or experience I have in my mind–did it happen? did I read about it somewhere? did someone tell me about it? or did it happen in a dream? I wonder if it would be possible to photograph a dream door…
You can join in Thursday doors here.
There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that?
— Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls,1940)
cocooned in green light
I am nowhere but right here
dappled by these trees
Central Park right now is green, green, green.
Jade at dVerse asked us to choose one of the Hemingway quotes she provided and write a poem in response. I shortened the quote for my short response.
And because it’s Thursday, I’m including some firehouse doors from new and old neighborhoods. Firefighters are very much aware of the nowness of life.
Although I think you could make the case for doors in the Central Park photos as well…
Your can add your own doors and see many others at Thursday Doors.
Atlantic Puffins are seabirds that breed in large colonies on cliffs or offshore islands along the North Atlantic coast of both Europe and America. When not breeding, they spend most of their time on the ocean.
Each time I look for information about the birds I draw, I find declining numbers, even if they are not yet endangered. Habitat destruction. Declining food sources. Overhunting.
Puffins are no exception. How to reverse these trends?
Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end. No magic formula to suddenly turn things around.
It’s a process. No moment exists when the fragility and interdependence of ecosystems reaches perfect balance, when humans can relax and ignore the repercussions of our behavior. We must remain always aware, always learning, always willing to make necessary changes to insure continuity. To keep the circle connected and alive.
I challenged myself to see if I could take Merril’s quote from Jo Harjo and do a prosery for dVerse. It actually fit the theme of Draw a Bird Day quite well.
“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”
Here’s some information about Atlantic Puffins:
–Their wings become flippers underwater. They are excellent divers and can reach depths of 200 feet.
–The hinges on their beak allow them to carry several fish at once.
–They have been observed using sticks as tools.
–Their nicknames are sea parrot or clown of the sea. Puffin chicks are called pufflings.
–Puffin colonies are referred to as a burrow, a circus, or an improbability.
–Puffins mate for life and often return to the same nest or burrow. They lay a single egg which both parents brood for several months.
–They spend the winter on the open ocean, rarely returning to land.
Who knows the questions? or the time?
What if there is no time?
What if all the time has all been wasted, or lost?
When karma comes around,
where will it go?
Why keep running into the same things?
How did we get here?
If only I knew
how to fix it all–
I would be honored
to be unremissed.
I’ve been having trouble completing things lately. Bjorn at dVerse has us asking Google to finish our thoughts. Perfect.
What I learned:
1) Many of those searching on Google are thinking about death–lots of killing and dying going on.
2) And remiss. Many many of us feel we are remiss.
well, first the wayward wind—grey—if you tried to hold it, your hands remained empty–
the song of the sirens, spilled into a traverse of stone and sea—perhaps some dragon’s breath—a shape becoming uncovered, a shape turning into a wheel that reminds itself to spiral—
the beach is hungry, but in a subtle way—do not conclude that it can be ignored–
Stream of consciousness for Grace at dVerse. I’ve been doing a lot of this because of a recent prompt I saw that incorporated this technique, where you took a treasured object and wrote a bunch of unedited stories about it. This was from my origin story.
The original writing for this haibun took up a whole page–I just selected a few parts and made a kind of haiku by removing words from one “sentence”. The drawings are once again taken from my archives. I’ve spent a lot of time drawing shells.
Every beach vacation comes with its own bird. One year it was mockingbirds, one year a very vocal cardinal. One year, crows.
This year we were accompanied by grackles. They would sit on the railing of the beach house speaking in their rusty tongue, lined up like soldiers. If one turned, all turned. Once they saw someone was paying attention they would vocalize a bit more and suddenly disappear.
On the beach they appeared ahead of my walking path and waited for me, foraging in the waves. As soon as I caught up, they flew off ahead again.
Although it’s natural to see their iridescent strutting as a variation on crows, grackles are actually part of the lark family, related also to blackbirds and orioles.
But they do have a connection to crows—all back birds are said to know magic, to live on the borders of the possible unknown.
standing on the edge
between water and shoreline,
you pause, watch me watching you–
our eyes meet through layered light
For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words, a haibun.
Draw-a-Bird Day is placeholding here at method two madness each month until Nina returns. You can find me at https://kblog.blog/ in the meantime.
I’ve also linked to dVerse Open Link night.