Sunday, February 21, 2010

Windows to the Soul, or Souls Past and Present

The Morbid Details - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Taken Over - Lynda Lehmann c 2010

Windows of an aging public institution, overgrown with vines, patched, boarded and abandoned, conjure many tales. I think windows and doors have always been iconic for the human species: they are among the archetypes or unconsciously-associated symbols that help us interpret human behavior and navigate the mystery of our existence in the cosmos.

It's no surprise then, that windows such as these have an almost horrific and shocking impact. At least, that's how I feel when I gaze at them. One has to wonder what went on there, in this abandoned complex of buildings at King's Park Psychiatric Hospital, on the grounds of what is now Nissequogue River State Park, and what spiritual forces may have been left behind. One doesn't have to believe wholeheartedly in ghosts to acknowledge that we haven't disproved their existence. Whose spirit might roam these grounds? Would you want to meet them? And perhaps most importantly, will we ever achieve a really humane society?

I posted some other shots taken at this site, last year. I love capturing these vintage/urban shots in spite of the fact that they usually don't evoke positive emotions. But they tell stories, and they have so much character. How well they mark the passage of time and the passage of the human stream, along with it! If you click on the photos you will see more of the details, like the shroud effect of the plastic sheeting on the top image, and the poignant gesture of the vines, in both shots.

At times, contemplating images that reflect a darker side of our collective reality, may make us appreciate the lighter side of the human condition. Things like love and beauty. Do you agree?

Images and text copyright Lynda Lehmann. All rights reserved. Reprinted from "Peripheral Vision" blog, by Lynda Lehmann.

1 comment:

Wandering said...

"Wonder what a real humane society will look like"
Im into caregiving; I understand what you meant here.