Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Work: the Old House

I started working on this piece during the hurricane Irene. The piece evolved as the weather changed. As the news reports came in about the flooding the house took on it's own significance for me.

Here in Vermont, hundreds of miles away from the coast, devastation and destruction was raining down on many towns and cities in the southern half of the state. A town that I used to lived in, Waterbury, was extremely hard hit. Homes were swept down river, roads were washed out, and families stranded or left to live in make shift shelters in church rectories and school cafeterias.

No other event comes close to this except for the the Flood of 1927 which stands as the greatest disaster in Vermont history. Devastation occurred throughout the state, taking place on November 3rd and 4th when 1285 bridges were lost as well as countless numbers of homes and buildings destroyed and hundreds of miles of roads and railroad tracks washed out. The flood waters claimed 84 lives, including that of the Vermont Lieutenant Governor at the time, S. Hollister Jackson.

History almost repeated itself, as Hurricane Irene (actually downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it got this far north) pounded Vermont with heavy rains and winds. I am grateful that our current home was spared. In comparison to our neighbors and friends to the south, we saw very little damage. 
You will notice the shovel handle, meant to symbolize the digging out of the mud and debris that settled in homes and basements, the feet, that represent the firm footing the community has, the driftwood, the yard sticks and the Virgin Mary on the second floor, who is prays intently for the storm to end. 
This piece: the Old House, is dedicated to Vermonters, old and new; who have seen nature's scorn and survived. 
I would rather not go
back to the old house
there's too many
bad memories
too many memories....
here began all my dreams....
and you never knew
how much I really liked you
because I never even told you
oh, but I meant to...
Are you still there?
or have you moved away?

I would love to go
back to the old house....

 but I never will- The Smiths

1 comment:

artistamyjo said...

Truly a stunning piece!