A Garden of Delights

Posts Tagged ‘abandoned homes

The Storyteller in Uncertainty

Inspired or nudged or something by both Shan Jeniah and Shah, I’m adding my two cents into Shah’s Storyteller Challenge due today.  Or maybe it was the cool picture–See?

Does she manage to soar?

As She Said

The wings felt heavy, unnatural.  It should have been a clue, but the desire to escape the confines of her day-to-day life seemed so strong, so powerful, Naria accepted them.  How could she not, she thought?  How could anyone refuse the chance to soar free, above the clouds, to live, even for a moment like the birds…

The  djinni had warned that few could wear the wings and make themselves a part of the living bird spirit that existed within them.  Death came to those the bird spirit refused.

But what of those it accepted, Naria had asked, several times, demanding the djinni answer her, even to the loss of her last favored wish.  She had to know.  Could she become as the birds in the sky?  Would she stay human, bird, both?

The answer had been unsatisfying to say the least.  How could a djinni not know such things? He had sworn even to the oath of his royal family in the Planes of Ether that there had been those the bird spirit in the wings had accepted.  Death had not taken all those he had been sent to gift.  And yet, he could only answer her with “They became what they were already.”

A truly unsatisfying answer

Still, even if it were a moment of escape, a moment to try on the life that she would never experience again, to see the world in a new light than than of her husband’s kingdom, her oversight of the servants, the petty squabbles of her fostering ladies…  If she could have but a moment to be more than she was, she would not refuse to take it.

“I won’t fall,” she told herself  as she crept to the top of the highest tower of the castle.  She paused at the window ledge, weary from hauling the large wrapped bundle up the stairs, held as carefully away from her body as she could in the tightness of the stone stairways.  It had suddenly seemed vital to protect the delicate barbs of the fathers from harm.  Every quill must remain solid and firm.

She knew this, and as soon as she’d entered the tiny chamber, she had gently laid out the plumage, inspecting it carefully, soothing it, feeling it, cool yet warm and alive under her fingers.  And, though the djinni had told her otherwise, saying she should spread the wings out inside out and lay upon them till they became with her flesh,, Naria erected them, tenting them over her body as she crouched, bare to any eyes that might see.  The wings felt heavy and unnatural, pressing her body into the stiff straw pad of the bed.

And now, they felt even heavier, drawing back her shoulders as she tried to stand straight and proud the way she’d always been taught.  Chest in, she heard her nurse scold, though the woman had been dead many years now.  Do not show  a man more than he need see to know you are virtuous, her tutors had lectured.  But try as habit forced her to do, she could not, her back wearied from her journey up the several flights of stairs already, and  Naria felt herself drawn forward, chest pressed to the world defiantly.

Forward, unsteady, weary, wobbly, from where she stood, looking down over her husband’s lands.  “I will not fall,” she told herself once more, even as she felt herself totter.  A moment’s panic gripped her, but she vowed it yet again.

“I will NOT fall.”

And she did not try to hold on.  She faced what was to come, whatever her choice would bring.  She could not fall, she realized, because she had already escaped.  She was already free.  She had already done as she’d wished.

Naria did not fall.

There was a second prompt to write about; a timed prompt for 3mins.  It could be in any genre, any form, just three minutes…


TIMED WORD ASSOCIATION:Treacle, Bloated, Yesterday.

Sweet the pudding words you told me, treacle to my ears and heart
Yesterday your mind was showing, you spoke some thing,
Pop art, urban deco, bloated with your self-importance, thinking foolish
hardly worth my time and thought

Yesterday, your words were treacle,they tasted sweet, they warmed my soul
Today your words smell of noxious vapors, putrid bloated in my bowl

I don’t want to touch them, don’t want to taste, don’t to smell.

I can’t even wash them


I always get in a muddle (a good kind) when I start looking into things that catch my eye.

Last week I made another trip to the Albany Institute and while admiring many of the pieces there, scribbled what notes I might be able to translate later and still take in the place in a somewhat timely fashion.  I still have many more days to take on this task, since I barely completed a tour of the Culture & Symbols Gallery and glimpsed some of the gift shop.

The obsession that day was old buildings (one of the obsessions).  I began admiring an engraving of the home of a certain Joel Rathbone, Esq.  and the lithograph of a James Wagner c1860.  I was able to find this page on the Rathbone home which details its history and end.  (As I asked a friend in an email, what is it that always brings me back to Doane Stuart?)  I have not been having as much luck discovering anything regarding the fate of the home of James Wagner, though since the structure strikes as something I remember seeing before, perhaps it still exists.

I have however been taken on a delightful tour of  Albany County history from this.  While I’m sure what I should be doing is raiding the NYS Archives the hard way, poring over pages, I am trying to find everything I can online first.  I’m basically trying to find everything I can on something I don’t even know exists.

The same thing always happens when I start studying the huge lions that bracket rt 144 and Henry Hudson Park in the Cedar Hill area of Bethlehem, NY.  Casual inquiry has found me little (I may have some more names to research than just Guy Park due to a reference here about a Francis Nicoll and the name Barent Winne Rd, referring  to ), but the place always draws me to it.  In one of those rebellious moments I had far more often in my twenties, I ignored the “No Trespassing ” signs that surround the property and walked through the wooded property they guard.  An interesting place.  I wish I’d had a digital camera those days.  (Heck I wish I had a small one that I could always use to catch snapshots of all the nifty things I see in a day.)

At least here I am taking a far more proactive role in my curiosity (I just finished and sent out an email to the Bethlehem Town Historian regarding the place), but this isn’t my norm.  I tend to write snippets, gather friends to show my obsessions to, and daydream.

And with joy and regret, after a morning of scouring pages, I’ve found these pages.

—-  Lost Landmarks of Upstate New York: a collection of pictures and stories of buildings that have been either destroyed (or face imminent destruction) in the area

—-  Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York: a complement to a rather nifty page I found a while back when I started looking up the history of the Roma people and got side tracked to a study of Albanian History (which in turn led me to read about King Zog and his home (2) on Long Island).

Sometimes it seems I jump from one thing to another, flitting about like a butterfly in a field of flowers, I like to scan the pages of history.  The truth is that I’m always looking (and finding) connections throughout my journey, linking past and present, and the deeper I look, and the more side trips I take, the more connections I find.

It’s how life seems to work for me; I’m always digging for something I don’t know.

First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

Short Stuff

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