A distinct memory accompanied each poster, concert ticket and postcard I removed from the walls of my childhood bedroom. At twelve years old I started to create a massive collage with the walls that would eventually take up every inch of space covering multiple layers that lasted until the day I moved out on my own.
My parents had finally sold their house that I grew up in just ten minutes from Center City Philadelphia. The gargantuan dismantling efforts to clear my bedroom had begun and I started to become overwhelmed. It was true, most of the things in the room I didn’t need. My apartment already had everything deemed essential, but I decided I would keep the concert and airline tickets and postcards and books, of course. Continue reading “Destiny” »
photo credit: Juliann Gates
“If you knew that your life was merely a phase or short, short segment of your entire existence, how would you live? Knowing nothing ‘real’ was at risk, what would you do? You’d live a gigantic, bold, fun, dazzling life. You know you would. That’s what the ghosts want us to do – all the exciting things they no longer can” – Chuck Palahniuk
She stands as a colossal Victorian deteriorating like a forgotten cathedral on the Philadelphia street corner of Broad and Fairmount. The days of elegance and grandeur have passed away beneath the tomb of her hollow arches only to re-emerge with an even more distinct majesty and allure.
Lorraine beckoned to me for years, her towering presence and asbestos dust seeped beneath my skin. It was only a matter of time until I’d find my way deep into the heart of her presence. From a cold black basement chasing light up a swirling marble staircase up ten stories to a massive penthouse ballroom turned hollow shell of abandonment. Where once the melodic clinking of silverware on fine china clattered against the muffled laughter and chatter of hundreds of guests dressed in their classiest attire was now condensed to a faint whisper in a slow swirl of white dust against sunlight peeking through empty arched window frames. Continue reading “An Appointment With The Divine” »
Life is amazing. Nothing ever happens the way one imagines it is going to. One realizes that most clearly here; all your philosophic systems crumble. At every turn one finds the unexpected.
– Lieutenant d’Armagnac, The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
One morning we took the tro-tro bus across the city to a preschool for street children that was run by the Catholic Church. The children were homeless, their parents living on the streets of Ghana’s cities. We were asked to paint one of the walls inside the building. I mentioned the idea of making a giant map of the world which was unanimously approved. With a pencil I sketched the continents freehand from my memory, standing on top of a chair to reach the ceiling. At first, the project looked like a nonsensical mess but later it would be honed into a masterpiece. Continue reading “The Grand Portrait” »