Friday, February 19, 2010

Windowsill, I

Bridgewater, Connecticut

There can be something eerie about a house where a very old person lives. As the resident becomes less and less active, things in the house seem almost to fossilize, fixed in positions established years, even decades, earlier.


Martina said...

Hm, to me this looks like a "growing" window sill. Hard to explain. It is not that someone went to the shopping center to buy some decorative elements but the environment "grows" with the inhabitant. First there is a vase, perhaps a gift from a relative. Then some years later the duck - found at a nice little shop while on vacation ... in the end this window sill looks like art, it is art in itself with this living grown arrangement. If it were a photo I would say "Good composition". Not depressing at all, no. But perhaps I misunderstood fossilize, fixed in positions As I have said, hard to explain, :-(.
And the photo - good composition of a good composition.

Carl Weese said...

Martina, that's a very interesting reading. In fact, this is the house where Tina grew up and her mother still lives. Her father was an illustrator--a commercial artist--and I think the objects and their arrangement are primarily his acquisitions and decisions. And they haven't been moved since he died a decade and a half ago.

Your narrative may not fit the facts perfectly, but it *could* fit them perfectly in just a slightly different alternate universe.

Now, for the facts in this universe, we turn to Tina. The duck is a hunter's decoy bought at an antique shop in New Jersey in the 1950s. The head was bought by her Dad in 1948 at a shop in Manhattan. The blue vase was in fact a gift from the across-the-street neighbors. It arrived with a hideous stopper that Walter contrived to lose.

Martina said...

I fully understand that no one feels the need to move anything - it is perfect as it is. A place to rest one's eyes and one's mind.

Ah, I forgot to mention the head - in my narrative it would have been a souvenir from a trip to the Greek isles. Sophokles? Not sure.

lyle said...

Carl, Martina's and your comments remind me of many discussions about the personal v. public aspects of a photograph. Photographs are personal in the sense that we take them. (Minor White said something to the affect that we don't TAKE photographs, its the image that STOPs us). And I think that what we bring to the image (or allows us to be stopped) is what gives it weight and meaning. But that 'stuff' is part of a larger consciousness which is what gets communicated to the viewer and hence can be interpreted slightly differently. For what its worth, this photograph reminded me of all those corners of homes that I have seen where the items, whether treasured or not, are just the way the owner wants them and they ain't moving - until the owner gets bored. It spoke to me of what's important to people and how they arrange their life around the objects and visa versa.