“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” A. A. Milne
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. Aldous Huxley
Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world. Charles Eames
As I considered this week’s photo challenge on the theme CORNER what came to mind was a ramshackle barn that I saw on a corner street in Dutchess County. It was old and falling apart but, it was located in a beautiful area; across the street from an artists community and next door to a farm teeming with green life. As I pulled onto the unpaved driveway, and drove to the side and back of the barn, a flood of imaginary memories came to mind. What was life life for the original owner? Did he/she have far flung dreams of moving from the corner to center stage? I could tell that in its days of glory, it was a beautifully built two floor barn made to accommodate man and his beloved. But now, all had fallen to waste. Then I remembered the poem below… POST UPDATED!
Vagabond’s House by Donald Benson Blanding Canto 1 via allpoetry.com
When I have a house . . . as I sometime may . . .
I’ll suit my fancy in every way.
I’ll fill it with things that have caught my eye
In drifting from Iceland to Molokai.
It won’t be correct or in period style,
But . . . oh, I’ve thought for a long, long while
Of all the corners and all the nooks,
Of all the bookshelves and all the books,
The great big table, the deep soft chairs,
And the Chinese rug at the foot of the stairs
(It’s an old, old rug from far Chow Wan
That a Chinese princess once walked on)
“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.” J. R. R. Tolkien
In seeking comfort, we generally find a quiet corner in life where there is a minimum of conflict, and then we are afraid to step out of that seclusion. Jiddu Krishnamurti
To survive, you’ve got to keep wheedling your way. You can’t just sit there and fight against odds when it’s not going to work. You have to turn a corner, dig a hole, go through a tunnel – and find a way to keep moving. Twyla Tharp
I dont know about you, but abandoned houses always gave me the creeps. Something about a dwelling that once teemed with life and years later, it sits empty, sad and filled with unspoken memories and abandoned stories of who and what once called that space home. Why do homes get abandoned and how does that even fit this conversation about corners? Well, for starters, life is so full of surprises that even with careful planning, our dreams and wishes could take an unexpected turn that would surprise the most indifferent among us. So this barn has a history of hope, joy, celebration and completion of a task that I cannot share with you because whoever built it and lovingly maintained it, gave up the ghost long ago, and the narrative that could be shared went with it. What is my point? Take each precious memory you have and share it like fertile seeds. Plant flowers filled with grace and build friendships and connections with others so your home will always be a place of respite for you and your cherished ones because around the corner is … who knows?
Vagabond’s House – Canto 19
Then, when my house is all complete
I’ll stretch me out on the window seat
With a favourite book and a cigarette,
And a long cool drink that Oh Joy will get;
And I’ll look about at my bachelor-nest
While the sun goes zooming down the west,
And the hot gold light will fall on my face
And make me think of some heathen place
That I’ve failed to see . . . that I’ve missed some way . . .
A place that I’d planned to find some day,
And I’ll feel the lure of it driving me.
Oh damn! I know what the end will be
“Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.” Dee Hock
Curiosity is the essence of human existence. ‘Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?’… I don’t know. I don’t have any answers to those questions. I don’t know what’s over there around the corner. But I want to find out. Eugene Cernan
You might wonder, if I find abandoned places creepy, why did I take a photo of that barn? Great question. In 2014, the Photo Challenge theme was abandoned and I did the best I could to portray what it meant. About a year or so ago, the wise ones of our Photo Challenge team had offered us the word – ABANDONED. At the time, what flashed before my face was a memory of walking down a street somewhere, looking left and right, and seeing nothing but abandoned buildings. I ached to revisit the place again so I could capture it and frame it as a photo but I couldn’t… It was a long lost memory. As I pondered what to share for that theme, I became acutely aware that even though I’ve seen my share of abandoned buildings, I had an aversion to photographing them. I was astonished because I had never thought about it until that assignment. Well, I decided to change that attitude and promised to take photos of such spaces, if I came across them in the future. It took a long while and then I saw the barn. That is the beauty of joining a group and working on challenges that are tossed your way. It forces you to stretch, grow, and become even more observant about the world around you. It has been a blessing to join in. You are all invited to do same… Posts go up on Friday around 12 noon EDT. Hundreds of WordPress folks join in and the range is always impressive! 🙂 This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: – CORNER More below and do check it out.
Vagabond’s House – Canto 20
I’ll go. And my house will fall away
While the mice by night and the moths by day
Will nibble the covers off all my books,
And the spiders weave in the shadowed nooks.
And my dogs . . . I’ll see that they have a home
While I follow the sun, while I drift and roam
To the ends of the earth like a chip on the stream,
Like a straw on the wind, like a vagrant dream;
And the thought will strike with a swift sharp pain
That I probably never will build again
This house that I’ll have in some far day
Well . . . it’s just a dream house, anyway.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: – CORNER – Merriam-Webster defines “corner” as, among other things, “the point where converging lines, edges, or sides meet.” I also like looking at it from the opposite direction: corners are where lines, objects, and people go their separate ways. A corner is literally a turning point, full of tension and potential.
What kinds of images and emotions do corners evoke in you? In this week’s challenge, share a photo that plays on any of the word’s many meanings. Show your favorite street corner, or a cozy nook in your home where you feel truly at peace. Focus on a person or place that’s recently gone through a transformation — “turned a corner,” as we often say. Or stick to geometry and highlight the angularity of a favorite landscape or object. Whatever direction you choose, I look forward to your photos this week.
Positive Motivation Tip: Carve out your corner in life and follow it bravely.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.