kim faires photography + stuff
They have closed down my old elementary school.
I went by there yesterday to take a few photos, and I have to say: I simply was not prepared for the onslaught of emotion that overtook me.
The sight of the place triggered a cascade of memories that took me completely by surprise.
And as I was wandering around I caught sight of this old sign–bent, rusty, and leaning wildly to one side–and I immediately thought, “No way.”
I remembered that sign being there … and I remembered that there was something about it that made it a significant feature of my childhood, but I couldn’t remember exactly what was written on it.
So I walked over to it, and it all came back. The painted words have almost completely peeled off now, but it reads:
Please Do Not Play in this Ornamental Area.
But that’s not the best part: the kids have scratched out the first four letters of Ornamental so that it reads:
Please Do Not Play in this Mental Area.
And I laughed. Incredulous. I remember that sign, and how funny we all thought it was with the “orna” scratched out.
(Never mind how strange that wording seems today: the “Ornamental Area”, in this case, consists of a swath of lawn with two trees in it surrounded by a hedge. Oo-ah.)
And now I look at that sign and I think, “How apt.” Because being there again, in that place, stirred up so much within me that it felt just like I was playing in a mental area.
And, it triggered the muse.
I have to go back there.
I couldn’t get into the school because it’s been closed and locked. The best I could do was peer through the windows, but I want to–nay, need to–go back there. I want to find a way to get inside–and I suppose I mean that in both a physical and a psychological sense–because I want to know more about that place. And more about who I was in it.
That’s my desire.
And I don’t even know what form that exploration will take yet–written, photographic, or filmic–I just know I want to do it.
Oh, and by the way, going there yesterday morning capsized my entire day. I got nothing done.
Such was my sense of overwhelm.
And I can’t ignore that. Could you?
Image by moi.