Saturday, January 29, 2005

Certain Dark Gardens

I am a huge fan of quotes, quips and one-liners. There is something immensely satisfying about a masterfully crafted sentence or two capable of evoking an encyclopedia of meaning in just a few words.

One of my all time favorite quotes is this one from Robert Louis Stevenson:

"Some places speak distinctly. Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwrecks."

In my mind this quote is irrevocably linked to this photo:

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This is probably my all-time favorite photograph. I took it several years ago at the old zoo in Pueblo, Colorado. This was part of a closed-down exhibit that had housed monkeys. I imagine it has been renovated and reopened by now. Probably all bright and shiny and full of happyish spider monkeys. Some days I can tell you exactly what is at the top of those stairs and some days I have no idea.

I tell you that to ask you this - do you have a favorite painting? Something you lust after? Something you own? You lost? My favorite painting looks a lot like this photo. I saw it in an upstairs room of a junky antique store on Route 66 in Amarillo. Imagine a stone cross at the top of the staircase in this photo. It is night and a young girl in a white shift is draped over the monument, probably mourning. It was horribly hokey and I didn't buy it. I have regretted it ever since. I can't tell you what I really like about it, but it is a quest for me. Each antique store, garage sale, or thrift shop I enter could be hiding that painting. One day I will track it down. I have no idea why I was/am so fixated with the painting. [Insert psychoanalytic mumbo-jumbo here.] It is really frighteningly bad - the proportion was screwy, the subject matter maudlin, but...

What do you quest for?

6 comments:

Captainwow said...

right now, at this moment my quest is sleep. It's 4AM and I'm still not asleep. And this makes me angry.
But I digress. I have a color that I love and I look for everything in it. Clothing, socks, anything. I have pajamas in that color that don't fit anymore but I keep them because they are just about EXACTLY the right color. It's rare to find anything that's just right. It's the color of the blue/green irridescent shimmer in a peacock's tail feather. It is only even THERE when the light is just right.

reverendmother said...

Is the quote dark or dank?

Either way it's good.

Ooh, the one that got away. I will have to ponder that. There's a Chagall I love, and (a print of) it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

SpookyRach said...

Eerk! It is dark. Thanks! A dank garden is nowhere near as nice! ha!

Janet said...

Now that I'm on a roll, I have pondered this for awhile what is my quest. I have rolled it around and decided my quest could be to find a worthy goal. Much thought has been given to how you can have a quest and not have a goal to search every treasure trove. In all your candor wisdom I am sure you have that answer. By the way the picture and your quote has that same mystery of my Nancy Drew lot."Its much better to imagine than to know"(if no one else has said this you can quote me).

Anonymous said...

I was doing a google search for a "dark" picture. The picture of your Dark Garden came up. I think that is an awesome picture. For some odd reason I just REALLY wanted you do know that.

Lilly said...

I know exactky how you feel. :)