Actually, this isn’t really catching up since I haven’t posted ANY May photos here and I’m only including the more recent days. But I have posted May’s photos on Flickr. The photos earlier in the month were rather boring, so I’m not bothering. These are a bit more interesting only because bourbon is involved…and possessed cats.
I won’t tell you what I think the master’s graduation hood looks like. (The hood is what drapes down the backs of master graduates.) It is so highly symbolic and makes sense, but we Americans, who are descended from the Puritans, titter at the thought. Oh, all right. I’ll tell. It looks like a vagina, especially Informatics’ hood because the color is blood red. I can’t go to a graduation ceremony without seeing all these heads sticking out the birth canal. But it makes sense! When the ritual ceremony for graduation was created, symbolism was de rigueur. We refer to our school as our alma mater, which means nourishing mother. So if we are leaving our mother’s womb and entering the world, why not fashion the hood (another euphemism) to look like the vagina? And it occurs to me that the person who hoods us is like a midwife. I love the symbolism.
One day while getting gas, I ended up in Lexington, Ky. So I thought, what to do? THE BOURBON TRAIL! I only had time for one distillery, though, so I chose Woodford Reserve.
Up until this time, I didn’t like bourbon. It burned! But I discovered that only the first sip burns. So now I can drink bourbon, but I still prefer rum. I’m a pirate. Aaarrgh, me matey.
If I’m going to include cats, they might as well be possessed.
One evening as I was reading in bed, I noticed that the folds in the sheets and the length of my legs looked kinda cool together. It’s like my legs are part of the sheets. The photo translated especially well to black and white, also.
In Irvington, I had ivy creeping across my porch. Yes, it inched towards the door, slowly, as if it didn’t want me to notice. Kinda eerie. Curious, though, I let it grow until it started creeping up the door. But this photo only shows it reaching towards the door…patiently waiting to consume me…in time. Someday the ivy will win.
May is iris month. I stumbled upon an iris show at Holliday Park today so it’s nice to find a photo of irises in my stash.
We all love a good fire, especially at night. It keeps us warm and encourages campfire stories; tales of suspense, or intimate confessionals. It’s a time to respect the wonders of nature, for we all know how devastating uncontrolled fire can be. And so we gather around the campfire…or the bonfire, in this case…and tell our tales while tending the wild flickers of flame.
At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s not how it was for this fire. I was living in Irvington (a subdivision of Indianapolis), in a small bungalow belonging to a bonafide slumlord. I came home late from work one evening. The sun had dipped below the horizon so it was apparent that there was a fire in my backyard. Frantic, I ran out back to find the slumlord feeding the old dilapidated barn into the fire. Irvington is a historic district so any kind of demolition done to a property must first pass through the historic society. He didn’t do this. Granted, the barn was dangerous and of no historical value so he could very easily have obtained a permit to take it down. He just didn’t do it. He wanted it gone and a fire was the easiest way—not the sneakiest, which would have been something he may have considered—but the easiest.
Since a fire is a good opportunity for a photo, I went into the house to get my camera. When I came back out, the slumlord was gone. I figured he would be back but he never returned. He left the fire blazing and I was the only one there to tend it; me and the snow and cold. I was incensed! I stood out there in the dark in the cold with my camera and watched that fire burn. I watched smoldering embers float up in the air, drift across tall grasses, and land sometimes on snow, sometimes in bare grass. When the floating embers drifted into my neighbor’s yard, I was anxious. The distance between my house and my neighbor’s house is about 15ft. A fire could easily destroy the neighborhood. My stomach knotted in fear and anger, knowing I was now responsible, unwittingly, for the fire. I could only hope the lingering winter and cold were enough to tame any possibility of an outbreak of fire because I had no way of extinguishing it except to call 911.
The night wore on. My toes started to freeze. The flames no longer flickered high into the air but had burned low. Embers, too weak to feed into a flame, crawled across seasoned wood. Nails that once held boards in place, tumbled from charred ashes to the ground. I went inside and up to my bedroom where, from the window, I continued to watch the glow of embers as they slowly died down. At midnight, I finally gave in to sleep and went to bed, letting the snow and cold tend what remained.
Why didn’t I call the police? Why didn’t I report this? My Irvington neighborhood was notorious for having the police visit (specifically because of my next-door neighbor). I didn’t consider this a police affair since it wasn’t arson. Now as I think about it, I should have called the fire department, but I didn’t. I felt a relative sense of control over the situation because of the wintry conditions. What really stopped me from calling the police or fire department though, was my financial predicament. I needed to live in that place because the rent was cheap and if I brought in the police or fire department, the slumlord would have evicted me. So I monitored the fire and hoped for the best.
Living in that house was such an interesting time. I lived there for three years and I have three years of stories to tell. Now that I’ve left it, I don’t miss the place. I feel safe ensconced in my new neighborhood where my landlords take care of any problems the minute I ask and where I have not even heard the sirens of a fire truck. How nice.
My hats experiencing a New Year’s moment, albeit a little late!
That is all.
You can go back to your regularly scheduled normal January 4th activities.
(phew, thought they’d never leave)
Ah, yes. The bungalow in Irvington (suburb of Indianapolis). Bedroom. Bare bedroom light fixture right over my head. Why does this make me smile? (And it does!) All the light fixtures in the house allowed two light bulbs. However, all the light fixtures in the house only lit one of them. There was no point in putting in a second light bulb.
I lived in a state of perplexity while in the bungalow. How much do I dress it up and add to its value and thereby profiting the slumlord? And how much do I just let slide? I didn’t purchase ceiling lamp shades, as you can see. But I did buy a crystal lamp pull just for me. And when I left this wonderful/terrifying house, I took the lamp pulls with me.
Why do I have such fond memories of a home so apparently horrifying?
I spent cold days in January looking out windows. For three years I lived in a two-story bungalow in the trashy part of Irvington (a subdivision of Indianapolis). And although the neighborhood offered up frightening experiences, the view from the windows always comforted me. I watched steam from my neighbor’s chimney rise into the cold, evening air, teasing the moon with puffy, tender touches. This view is from the bathroom window, the room where the tub could at any moment fall through the floor down into the living area. The winter view compelled me. In spite of the horrors of that neighborhood, I discovered snatches of beauty. Wherever one goes, beauty exists.
I loved looking out the bedroom window of my charming Irvington antique home, especially in the winter when the inside of the window frosted up just as wildly as the outside and made the whole world beautifully abstract.
May your life be equally as beautiful and as wild and as abstract! Happy 2012.
Ahhh. Be careful what you wish for. This morning I woke up to snow on the ground. I feel much better. As much as I like warm weather, I get nervous when the season really should have snow.
That being said, this photo is where I used to live in Irvington (subdivision of Indianapolis). It was my first “home” after my divorce and it has…interesting…memories. The landlord was really a slumlord and I could tell you stories of robberies, guns, police, and drugs, of holes in ceilings, holes in the roof, ghostly basements and fires. But I could also tell you stories of five newborn kittens, the nostalgic rumble of trains passing within feet of the property, having friends over, and the first taste of freedom being on my own. And perhaps someday I will as I uncover more photos of this place.
On this day in 2009, the snow entranced me. I shuffled through the white blanket to relish the transformation of the property from winter grunge to winter quiet. I am standing in a weed-filled section with the train tracks right on my heels looking back at the house that I called home. In spite of all the horrors surrounding this house, including the house itself, I have fond memories of this place.