Then

August 22, 2014 § 2 Comments

Diaries 1969-1970  (Martha Andrews Donovan)

Diaries 1969-1970
(Martha Andrews Donovan)

THEN

I believed in the firmness of the sky, the comfort of eleven-year-old skin, the hedges I refused to carry. And when the first horse I ever rode balked at the dead sheep that bled in my path, I held fast and did not let go. I saw a girl tremble with sunstroke as she was lifted in her chair and placed in a tub of ice, but I did not wish to be carried off to some stiller place and because I was young I believed I could choose it to be so. I asked a boy from France to dance with me, a boy who was shorter than I and who I could barely understand, except when he put his arms around my waist and I could feel his pulse beating beneath his skin. I rolled over in my kayak just to see what it felt like, over and over, and felt the longing in my lungs – a longing so simple I had to find my way to the surface.

Aphorism #2

August 4, 2014 § 1 Comment

Mildred Nasmith Witter's diary, carved elephant (Photograph by Martha Andrews Donovan)

Mildred Nasmith Witter’s diary, carved elephant
(Photograph by Martha Andrews Donovan)


Aphorism #2

Remember (re-member) the skin, the bones, the once-pulsing life: breathe, breathe.

A Postcard Mystery

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Postcard from W.L.S. to Miss Josephine Allen, Harpswell Center, Maine, Postmarked September 9, 1912, 3:30pm

Postcard from W.L.S. to Miss Josephine Allen, Harpswell Center, Maine, Postmarked September 9, 1912, 3:30pm

Card. Received.

Theirs is an ancient story: A man loves a woman who grows skeptical. Gadding about the neighborhood seems kind of good to her.

Note: W.L.S. and Miss Josephine Allen first appeared to me in a lot of postcards I purchased nearly four decades ago when my interest in vintage postcards and abandoned images took root. Mixed in among a hundred other miscellaneous postcards, a strange courtship unfolded before me, a mystery of desire and despair.

Please click on the link below to read four postcards from W.L.S. to Miss Josephine Allen, September, October, November, and December of 1912:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cwtd1u2qsew8c1c/Postcard%20Mystery.mov?dl=0

Somewhere

June 20, 2014 § 3 Comments

daguerrotype cases, pliers  (Photograph by Martha Andrews Donovan)

daguerrotype cases, pliers
(Photograph by Martha Andrews Donovan)

I am drawn to photographs of people I do not know. I wonder who they are – their desires, their despairs. This man (shown) and this woman (hidden) have sat on my bookshelf for years now, a gift from my late (former) mother-in-law who understood my yearnings, who trusted me as a keeper of history. But I do not know who these people are – and the rusted needle-nose pliers I dug up from a pile of abandoned tools were of no use: their stories are buried somewhere, perhaps with the red-eyed cranberry beans and cucumbers and squash Moses Chamberlain Cate (is this him, then, as a young man?) once wrote about in a diary.

Where Am I?

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