This is the day

 

One life ending…

 

No rain will fall today

No tears of regret

For past mistakes

Nor painful memories

From distant skies

The sun will smile down upon

This circle of hope

Glint brightly from these rings of completion

There will be smiles

Tears

And shaky voices

As the ghost of the old school principal

Watches on from the windows

The banished spirit of past longing.

 

 

 

 

©2017

All we ever look for

 

IMG_0250.JPG

 

 

Heart transplant

 

And so here I am

Transplanted

My roots reset

In richer soil

I spread my arms

My weary limbs

Gnarled finger branches

And drink deep of the air

The sweet breeze

Has a taste

Not freedom

Not quite

Replenishment

Rebirth

That will do

Well enough

 

That will do.

 

 

 

Words and image are my own.

 

©2017

 

 

 

 

Kingdom of days 6

 

Stone

 

One of the reasons I wanted to go to Princeton was to see the amazing photographic exhibit on display at one of the many museums to be found there, Morven House. Six of the most prolific Springsteen photographers, his sister Pam Springsteen included, in a combined exhibition showing some of their finest portraits of The Boss.

This exhibit runs until May 21st and I highly recommend it. There are quite a few shots that I personally have never seen before and there’s the added draw of seeing some familiar classics printed large and in high quality. The setting is somewhat incongruous, a colonial house full of Revolutionary war relics and fine art paintings and sculptures but the available space is used well and I geeked out for a happy forty minutes or so.

IMG_0150b

Speaking of art, it was a bad day to be a monument in Princeton. A band of jolly japers were going about putting googly eyes on statues and monuments, sometimes to devastatingly humorous effect.

IMG_0147.JPG
Literally Hitler?

 

Not all of the monuments suffered this ignoble fate, however.

 

IMG_0153.JPG

 

We next visited the Princeton Chapel. This is a very deceptive name for a place that looks like a medium sized Cathedral. Inside, it is quite beautiful and we sat for quite some time listening to some invisible organist play eerie music fit for a Vincent Price Horror movie.

 

IMG_0172

IMG_0176

IMG_0177a

IMG_0178

IMG_0186

IMG_0188

For the rest of the afternoon, we simply wandered around the grounds enjoying the sights and imagining what it would be like to attend such an institution. Though, I did make a little side quest to the Princeton Record Exchange, which I found to be excellent indeed, lots of treasures to be had for a very reasonable price.

 

IMG_0165a

IMG_0167

IMG_0192

IMG_0207

IMG_0216

Once Jersy girl had finished with work, we were all ready to head for home. I was impressed by how willing the kids had been to spend eight hours on their feet just sightseeing but now they were definitely done and happy to pile back into the car. I felt tired too but my batteries had certainly received a full charge from the sights and, more specifically, the ambience of this impressive town.

 

Words and images are my own.

 

©2017

 

 

 

Kingdom of days 5

Ivy

This Saturday past, we went into Princeton and spent the entire day wandering around the University and surrounds. It was to be just the kids and me as Jersey girl had to work.

Our first stop was a locale I’ve been hankering to visit for some time, the former home of the eminent physicist Albert Einstein.

IMG_0097.JPG

This modest home, just a short walk from the centre of town, belies the stature of the man who dwelt here from 1935 until his death in 1955. During those years Einstein could often be seen walking the streets of Princeton and a great many important people (including Presidents and Prime ministers) visited him at this very house.

I was surprisingly affected by the encounter despite the fact that the house is not open to the public (it’s a private residence). It might have been fancy on my part but the house, little more than a cottage really, seemed still to resonate with the personality of the great man who once inhabited it.

From there we made our way through the grounds of the University. Middle child was introduced to the concept of the cloister and was immediately besotted.

IMG_0120a

IMG_0130

The architecture of this Ivy League University is, like most such institutions, a mixture of barely compatible styles ranging from High Victorian Gothic through Richardsonian Romanesque to modern.

The oldest building on the grounds is Nassau Hall. This was the original building finished in 1756, it was heavily damaged during the Battle of Princeton in 1777 when Washington turned his cannons upon it to drive out Brittish troops who had occupied it.

For a time after war’s end, during which Princeton was the capital of the entire country, Nassau Hall Library played host to the newly formed American government. According to Princeton University, “Here Congress congratulated George Washington on his successful termination of the war, received the news of the signing of the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain, and welcomed the first foreign minister—from the Netherlands—accredited to the United States.”

IMG_0086

IMG_0151a

IMG_0152

Next door to ‘Old Nassau’ is The President’s House, also known as the John Maclean House. This fine old example of Colonial Georgian architecture was built in the same year as the Hall.

IMG_0193.JPG

A much younger set of buildings known collectively as John D. Rockefeller 3rd College, or “Rocky” are located at the northwestern corner of the Princeton campus. These are quite beautiful (despite their evil namesake) and are mostly in the Collegiate Gothic style. Five hundred freshmen and sophomores call this college home.

IMG_0092

IMG_0115a

IMG_0118

IMG_0121

I’m not entirely sure what delineates English Gothic from Collegiate Gothic but if I were to guess which this Hampton Court imitation comes under, I’d say English.

IMG_0129

That’s all for this post. Part 2 tomorrow.

Words and images are my own.

©2017

92. Come what may

 

I’m writing these words whilst sitting at the dining room table in Jersey girl’s house. Yes, I have arrived in New Jersey. The long and often arduous process which got us both to this point is now largely – though, not yet completely – behind us.

I simply cannot express the emotions involved in typing the paragraph above. We have waited so long for those words to be true and not just some expression of hope. And now, at last, they are true – I am here.

I have left job, family, and home. I have travelled with all I have to my name contained in just four very heavy bags and landed safely – if somewhat dazed –  into my new country.

Over the last couple of weeks in Melbourne I found out exactly how loved I was by friends and family. This made my last days in Australia bittersweet as I realised just how much I would miss certain folk.

I also found out exactly who amongst my friends were actually mere acquaintances in disguise. That too was a valuable lesson.

So now I am home. I sit here in this pretty house surrounded by the last snows of the season a very large dog curled at my feet. The day is cold but bright and the house lays silent. I have walked the youngest to school and waved Jersey girl off to work. The place is mine for the next few hours. I’ll probably spend several of those hours sleeping, as jetlag is still weighing on my eyelids.

Yesterday we loaded the kids into the car and drove over to the lake. It’s one of our favourite spots and I wanted to see (and photograph) the valley under snow before it was all gone.

IMG_0005

IMG_0006

IMG_0013

IMG_0022

IMG_0012

IMG_0030

IMG_0028

IMG_0033

IMG_0037

IMG_0041

IMG_0045a

IMG_0047

As expected, the place was magical and the perfect setting for this first day of our new life as a family.

It has been a long, insanity-inducing journey which has led up to this moment. There were times both of us thought it was never going to happen but our faith in each other kept the madness at bay – well, mostly.

Now, all our days together are stretched out before us. We have absolutely no idea what comes next. All we can say for certain is that, come what may, we will face it together.

Words and images are my own.

©2017