Monday, June 09, 2008

Old radiator, different light


My stairwell
Montreal, QC, May 2008 [Click to enlarge]


I've written before about how I practically grew up in this hospital. To while away the long hours of alone-ness, I used to wander the halls in a wheelchair, drinking in the institutional atmosphere of this overwhelming place and trying - with limited success - to find my place within it. In retrospect, a hospitalized child today would have to wear a monitoring bracelet. But way back then, no one batted an eyelash when I hit the linoleum-covered road and went exploring.

Now, I was wandering those same halls. Only I was an adult, and I could once again walk. I stopped in my tracks as I passed this stairwell. Like a thunderbolt, I was a child again. I suddenly remembered this very scene, down to every last detail. Of course, it looked different: snazzy glass block had replaced dowdy frosted glass and bright yellow paint now covered the faded institutional green. Unlike my first time here, I was able to walk past the doors and climb the stairs. Back then, I just stared from my chair, knowing that someday soon I'd be able to climb them on my own.

The nurse who looked at me funny as she walked past must have thought I was crazy for taking a picture of a radiator. But it was much more than a radiator to me, and I'm glad I chose this particular corridor to visit on that day.

Your turn: Flashes from your childhood. Ever have them?

One more thing: Click here for the latest Thematic Photographic, and here for Caption This.

9 comments:

kenju said...

Absolutely! They are usually precipitated by smells, or maybe a chance word by a blogger from my home town, or a friend. I get instant deja vu easily.

Anna said...

Particular smells or images tend to bring back memories from when I was younger... some good and some bad. I like how in this shot you can see the texture in the glass of the windows and also on the radiator.

D.O.M. Dan said...

Flashes from my childhood, sort of. When I drive around town in the city where my mom lives, I remember back to when I used to walk the same streets as a child going to school. What were once old farm houses, dairies, and fields of grazing cows, are now tract housing developments and commercial buildings.

Heidi said...

Whenever I am wrapping a cord (i.e. computer cord, electrical cord) from being long and all over the place, I think of helping my pop. He was audio visual administrator for the school system in our town and I would help him with audio/visual set ups and tear-downs. Wrapping a cord the right way packed them away just right and made it so that they would lay flat when you used them again... that is a big flashback of mine.

That and sitting at our kitchen counter eating a bowl of cereal. When I eat cereal to this day I think of sitting at that counter where we had a small TV set up and eating... and also playing with the cabinet door down by my knee... opening and closing it... driving my poor mom nuts.

Have a nice Tuesday, Carmi!

creme brulee aka GH said...

yes, one or two flashes today as I stained a birdhouse in my workshop; my dad made 100s out of scrap; on my workbench are three pieces of flotsam from the beach in Port Stanley; something will come of them I'm sure.

small bits of wood and the smell of fresh bread take me back 45 years at least; I mentioned both tonight in more detail in my monday memoirs, just posted it, then popped by.

timely topic for me.

GH

the glass, metal and yellow walls were updated in a positive way at the hospital. nice to see things get a bit more life.

David said...

so much that I do not know about you.
but fotunately I am learning about ME ( finally)

barbie2be said...

like your other readers, my memories are brought on by smells. one of my aunts used to work summers in the cannery. even though that cannery is long gone, and is now being turned into condos that one of my roommates has gone and bought herself, i still get flashes of the smell of cots on the drying racks.

moon said...

Happens alot for me, smells, images, or music from that particular time. Some very sad, some very soothing memories.
One in particular, is the smell of an old wood or barn..I used to spend many summers at my grandmothers house in the Saskatchawan prairies..the smell of the wheat fields and the old wooden porch surrounding the house...the sounds of the crickets in the deep thrush..on hot summer days....ah the memories..thanks for bring me back there !!

she said...

I was thinking about your question for a few days before I managed to get myself in gear and comment on it. Mostly because I frequently have flashbacks about things from my childhood and all my happy ones revolve around my dad. It was really unsettling for me to realize I don't have any pleasant flashbacks that involve my mother. It took me a few days to come to grips with that before I could post.