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Spring, Old Saybrook, CT

April 16, 2017

The fire in the woodstove has given way to star magnolia, forsythia and other blossoms, as the sun says “I’ll take it from here…”

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My best guess is that these two hand positions (mudras) are the Karana (Warding Off Evil – right hand) and the Bhumisparsa (Touching the Earth – left hand). This Buddha can be found in the gardens at the Harkness State Park in Waterford, a wonderful place to re-center and recharge, and well worth a trip any time of the year.

On this Easter weekend, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, may we also give thanks for ALL of those enlightened souls – including the Buddha – who come to help us along on this earthly sojourn. May we continue the work of changing our habits, and our point of view, towards a realization of their experience, and their vision.

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Habitat, Madison, CT

April 7, 2017

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Voila, Norwich, CT

March 28, 2017

I was surprised to find that some of these Norwich State Hospital properties are now owned by a neighbor, Mark, who introduced himself on my return visit there. He did give me permission to wander around (though a bit grudgingly), with the caveat: ” If you need me to call Rescue or the police, I will, but will tell them I don’t know you and that you were trespassing..” Fair enough.

He told me that the House of Lords, a rock band associated with Gene Simmons, recently made their music video “Harlequin” on the grounds, and hinted at something paranormal captured in the video. A couple of tradesmen who had joined us concurred. Check out the video here, with the “paranormal” bit circa 3:22, in the shaft of light at the back of the room.

Not intending to have the backstory take away from the photo itself, which very much stands on its own for me.

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Psychedelia, Norwich, CT

March 25, 2017

You would think this frosted glass – in a corridor at a long abandoned state psych hospital – would have been much too stimulating for residents walking by, but who knows?

There may have been some who actually looked forward to the view, if only to bring a little magic into the oppressive realities of institutional life.

Myself, I can’t stay with it long, which is one of the reasons I shot it with a lot of black on the bottom and side.

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I remember that evening in the small one room cabin, probably an old sugaring house in another life. A wood stove kept us warm. It was late winter.

Four, maybe six of us, tucked into the “living room”, communing with spirits that rose up in the stories and songs and laughter we shared deep into the night.

We were young, and locked in tight to “being here now”. Who knew the season would pass? Who knew there would be other, different ones, to follow? Who knew back then there was a future?

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Abandoned, Norwich, CT

March 11, 2017

Norwich Hospital opened its doors in October 1904 as the “Norwich State Hospital for the Insane”, and remained operational until October 10, 1996. At its height, the patient population, individuals who were deemed “mentally ill”, reached 3184 in 1955. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, with over forty contributing buildings.

Many community based agencies picked up the task of caring for these individuals as treatment philosophies (and medications) shifted over the years. Sometimes, a court order was necessary for the states to begin “deinstitutionalizing” patients, that is, providing the resources to effectively treat mental health issues closer to home.

I was with one such CT agency in the 1990’s (and also did similar work in MA in the 1980’s), that helped some of these Norwich Hospital residents settle back into their home towns. It was oftentimes difficult work, made easier by incredibly talented colleagues, and in the end, richly rewarding.

So here I am, driving by this hospital today, and of course I had my camera, so I visited some of the buildings. Might be worth the effort to continue photographing there, though I’m sure many people have recorded the fallen grandeur of the place. Matthew Christopher for one has some amazing images at his website here, which are also compiled into one of his books here.

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