Proportion In Perspective: A Writer Wednesday Post

June 19th, 2013 | Posted by Irene in Essays | Publication News





Frontknocker, photo and all text © Irene O’Garden, 2013

To listen to this post, please click here:Proportion in Perspective


The light is frank as ever through the windowpanes.  Cabinet latches squeak and snap just as they did. The attic is still a hot, stuffy, slightly scary place of boxed-up memories and discards, though my parents’ wartime loveletters live elsewhere now.

Last week we visited the house I grew up in.  A few years ago, I discovered I had sentimentally taken its original blueprints when we moved in 1974.  I realized they belong with the house, and sent them to my old address. The present owners were delighted and invited us to visit when next in Minneapolis.

Guided by two charming young girls and their mother, we learned they dry mittens on the same radiator, toss pajamas down the same chute, yank and dangle off the same banister.

All is not the same of course. Both are healthier by far than I was, with a mother who can express what mine was unable to.  But what a warm old joy to look beyond my Boogeyman closet out my old bedroom window to my three tall hemlock friends still swaying there, to walk across the street to the original “Forest, What Would You Like?” forest.


Knockerback, photo © Irene O’Garden, 2013


Experiencing memory through the other end of the telescope–so very small, so very dear—gives perspective to proportion. The lives we now live, so big and important, will themselves feel small, one day– small as an early classroom, small as a kitchen’s forgotten dimensions, small as a dividing cell.  It’s the nature of expanding consciousness. But large or small, then or now, feeling’s bright needle stitches it ever together.


Did you ever visit a former house?


Incidentally, two of my poems have just been published here in the Summer 2013 Issue of Summerset Review.


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  • Cass

    Lovely. As always, wonderful insight.

  • Vay David

    oh, my dear. Poem number 2 does make me weep.

    Wish I could revisit the home of my youth, though I doubt I could still fit into the laundry chute we used to wide-step ourselves down from the second floor to the basement.

    • Wow! That was always my fantasy, to fly down our chute! Thanks for your words about the poem–

  • Scott

    Thank you for taking me on a tour of your original house and getting back in touch with its size before consciousness expanded it. It’s good for us to look out those old windows and peek through those original keyholes. I can hear the snaps on those 1950’s pajamas sliding down that laundry chute!

    • Nice to have you join me! Also–my poem number 2 in Summerset Review referred to by Vay below, was one you played a subsequent part in–

  • katy

    Oh, How I remember that beautiful home with all the beautiful people that made it that way. Thank you for walking me through it again after so many years.

    • IreneOGarden

      Thanks, dear Katy–you would have known it so well! Here’s healing to you letting go of Wornall Road so recently–love, Irene

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