Saturday, January 8, 2011

These Ruined Rooms

These photographs are from The Kingston Lounge, where there are gorgeously rendered images of ruined, once-stately buildings that will invade your darkest dreams. The photographer is Robert Nickel, Jr. and the rooms that seem to most capture him were once part of state mental hospitals, now crumbling to dust. You look at the rooms in the photographs and you can feel like a tangible thing the pain that humans wrestled with there. These photographed spoke to me today because I am thinking a lot about the tragedies that people live with and how some of us never make it and yet how resilient we can be and we never know the thing that will save us, but I pray I pray that those who need saving in one way or another will stumble across just the thing they need to be a salve to their hurt. So they can go on. I'm thinking a lot about that Princeton kid who killed himself, and I need to write about him because he is taking up residence in my head, and in my broken heart.

This is the altar of a chapel. Under the window is a crate on which sit two unexploded grenades. Such a metaphor for the agony of souls. And yet, we go on. And sometimes for reasons unexpected or unexplained, we even manage to transcend.


  1. wow--i looked at all the photographs. they are just gorgeous, but even in their grandeur, made me think of the elvis costello song: all this useless beauty. and yes, this is a completely logical association with the unbearably painful life and passing of the young man at princeton...
    thanks for telling such a wrenching story in what has become your familiar voice: powerful yet never melodramatic.

  2. oh. Angella.
    I am without many words .

    we must always hope, but sometimes it is so dark.

    the windows... they make me ache.

  3. Ms. Moon, I am grateful for that.

    susan, wow, useless beauty says it. those photographs are powerful aren't they?

    deb, they made me ache, too, but you are right we must hope. and i do.