Artifacts of the Heart
After a spate of floral photography, I found myself scrounging for something more architectural to display in my LiveJournal's daily picture feature and came across this photograph in one of my folders of pictures of the old Camarillo State mental hospital. I hadn't given this particular image more than a passing (albeit a positive) nod when I first downloaded this batch, but now that I consider it more carefully, there's something that definitely draws me to this image. It suggests the echoing emotional vacancy of an institution now gone, its sepia-like tones accurately portraying the dimensions, though not plumbing the depth, of the life that went on here for so many decades.
I have received quite a number of e-mails in response to my
online pictures of the old hospital campus: many from former employees who
remember the place with fondness; some from people whose parents were
confined here. One of those recalled visiting as a child, waiting under a
courtyard window for a glimpse of her mother through a barred opening. The
other woman's mother had committed suicide here; she now harbors a wish to
visit and lay flowers somewhere--on a lawn--anywhere--in memory of the
mother she never really knew.
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