2.4.09


Birds keep hitting the window pane / pain. Story of an asylum, but which kind; forgiveness asylum, or, insanity asylum. Noun or adjective.
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Break. A loaded word. Breakable, breakaway, breakthrough, breakup, brakes, broke, broken. Again and again I revisit breaking into a boarded up insane asylum near New London. Mark had taken in tobacco, and I prayer ties, as gifts to Spirit in trade for the inconvenience. We needed to be prepared if we bumped into a troubled shadow along the way. We scaled the brick facade up the three story institutional building to the ‘open’ window and lowered ourselves into the industrial kitchen. We jumped down to the worn tile ground floor rivaling monkeys with the aid of steel armature. Room after enormous room was hauntingly empty. The floor was covered in a mixed rubbish of leaves, dust, and animal droppings. From door to door there were cleared trails made by prowling animals on a mission with a quickest bee line out of the room. There was a laboratory, used to study brain function and, possibly, lobotomy. Shoe boxes were scattered in disarray throughout the clinical rooms. These were full of glass slides with images of sliced brains. The rubber rooms were littered with metal cots and telltale handwritten letters to the outside. Having never been delivered, these reports must have been patient’s therapy. A way for the inmates to feel in control of their destiny.
There is an image burned in my mind of a water flooded room with a metal seat resting in the middle of the floor, it’s stagnant reflection in the water. The far brick wall suffered a chest high opening. The stone wall is crumbled in as though someone barreled through battering ram style getting into this room. The set makings for something sinister and very sad.

Sleeping under a pall for a quilt bed spread. I had the distinct feeling someone was leaning over and peering down into my face from the darkness---seeing if they recognized me---but no one was out there.


So it is in the world, when you go into the depths of the mountains, if you want to go farther, you will again come out of the mountains. -Miyamoto Musashi

4 comments:

  1. "....a metal seat resting in the middle of the floor, its' stagnant reflection reflected in the water."
    Whew.
    I remember you showing me a sheaf of photos from that trip you describe here, Jayne, and I remember saying "Oh, you should do a show on 'The Asylum' ", but you said "It's not for public display. It's very dark, Lisa. You have to be responsible about this..."
    I later told my close (at that time)girlfriend, 'Becca, what you said. She replied quickly,"Oh, she must be a very spiritual person."
    I did not fully understand the implications you made, back then, Jayne, but when 'Becca said that, I sort of "got it".
    Thanks for enlightening me further, with this account.
    Peace.
    Uh, you know, "....telltale handwritten letters to the outside." would be a breathtaking thing to see and read. Wish I'd been there, with you.

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  2. Lisa, Since then, I have come to believe images have a different power than the written word. Not sure which is more potent. I think it depends on who is welding the sword. The intent, of course, will always be important.
    ...I keep a few of those handwritten letters in an large envelope, taped up. -J

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  3. der...Of course I meant ‘wielding’ in the last comment. Hey, there isn’t an ‘edit’ feature in this part! -J

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  4. Hi Jayne--yes, I did read it as "wielding", not "welding", though it is an interesting typo/Freudian slip!
    I agree that images are different than words. I think both can be equally uplifting, OR depressing/damaging, but they are indeed, very different.

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