Sunday, May 8, 2011

Front Gate 1975

Looking through old photo albums this week, I found this snap I made of the front gate at 37 Paddington Terrace, the last house in Jamaica that I lived in and the heart home for which this blog is named. This was the gate I went through in 1975 when I moved to New York City from Kingston. This was the gate that ushered me out into the world to embrace my future. Seeing it now makes me feel rather sentimental because the house in which I came of age is no longer there. In its place are spanking new townhouses that hold no memory of the stories that we lived on that sloping plot of land, no trace of the red and white house brushed on all sides by mango trees, no hint of the walls and windows and rooms that gave birth to and sheltered all our secret dreams.


  1. Oh, I've been missing you. So good to hear your voice, glimpse a memory through your eyes, and even - to my delight - get a peek at your real face. Happy Mother's Day!
    Angie at Eat Here

  2. We moved a lot when I was living at home in Detroit. so many of the houses are gone now. I can see them in my mind but it is sad they are no more.

  3. Perhaps it is best that this "home"'exists only in your memories, I too have returned to the home of my formation to find it abandoned and left to the mercies of a hurricane, the walls still remained but the sky was the only thing overhead. It was a mixed reunion,'but now that is the image I hold of home!

  4. This post is almost making me cry. The tear on the gate quite matches your memories and reminds me too of all the homes I have 'lost'.


  5. You're making me sad.
    Sometimes progress sucks.
    Keep those memories in your heart.
    Your Friend, m.

  6. Sometimes, I feel it's better for the building we knew and loved to be gone, rather than see it in a possibly ugly, altered state. I like to cherish the memory in my mind's eye.

  7. These kinds of pictures take us back to those moments that we treasure. For me, it's usually my childhood photos.

  8. Beautiful and what a gorgeous photo. Even then you had the eye indeed.

  9. Angela, so glad to see you back! Hope your day was lovely.

    Kristin, perhaps they're more real in our mind's eye than they could ever be in the three-dimensional world.

    Radford, my lovely husband, you commented! I know seeing the ruin of the place where so many of your childhood stories were set provoked mixed emotions, but seeing it with our son was something special. He will remember being there with you always.

    Lucy, it was that raindrop, that "tear" that prompted me to take this picture. I remember that clearly, and yet it is so easy to miss in the photograph. thank you for seeing it.

    Mark, don't be sad my friend. I am sentimental, not sad. Nostaligic, not lost. In fact, sometimes it is a luxury to wallow in nostalgia, to tune in to who we once were. So don't be sad, because I am not. But thank you for feeling something in kinship.

    Tess, I do agree. The mind's eye can burnish a memory like nothing else can. It's a gift.

    Olga, I know what you mean. I have been rediscovering my childhood photos and it's a wonderful bittersweet, but mostly sweet journey.

  10. Rebecca, your comment came in while I was answering the others. Thanks for the kindness about the photo. Back then, I dreamed of becoming some kind of visual artist, maybe a photographer, but it was all very vague, and it was really because I was more afraid to try to become a writer, which is where my true love lay. In the end, words won but I do love a camera and its surprises.

  11. Coming here is like - I don't know - like that gate, like going through that gate and the house that was there is still there and will always be, that's what it feels like.

  12. Dierdre, I'm just happy you come by here. xo

  13. it's an ache..
    always, a longing and a fleeting and a sigh

  14. A romantic notion, perhaps, but the gate (I agree with Rebecca, what a great photo) with its swirls of iron makes me think of how life spirals back upon itself, taking us to where we have been, but with a different perspective, on a different level. My grandparents' house, which occupies such a solid, central place within me, is still there, very much as it was, for which I am glad.

  15. Diedre, thank you my friend.i am glad you come to this gate.

    Marylinn, your grandparents house is a gift that keeps on giving in your life. wonderful to have that.


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