Thursday, November 16, 2006

Signs Of The Times

[Posted by reader_iam]


In early October, in response to a request from my son, we took a roadtrip to the small town in Illinois where my father started his college teaching career, and where I attended 1st through 4th grades. (He is in first grade.) The picture above is a close-up of the sheet hung in triplicate outside of the ...


... main-entrance doors. They look very benign--apart from those flyers--don't they? So I enhanced ...

... the photo a bit so that it would appear a bit more similar to my impression, each day, as I walked slowly, often with a deep sense of foreboding, up toward the entry way--but I'm not sure that the difference will show up on the blog. It really didn't as much as it ought in Flickr, though it's rather pronounced on my own computer. Oh, well--it won't kill you to cope with a little redundancy.

The little "porch" there is really quite slippery, with the concrete worn smooth by the beat of little feet over the years--perhaps including my own, all those years ago? Well, surely the surface has been redone since then, but who knows?

Worn steps

The outside might be aging, but in looking through the doors, I saw that some ideas apparently continue to reign, though in a more secularized version than what would have been true in my own day:


At the time of our trip, I had some sort of vague idea of doing a series of posts, which of course I did not. (Perhaps some other time.) But this week, after spending a fair amount of time looking at my own blog in response to my first anniversary of blogging, I also started looking through the vast number of pictures I've taken this year, in Illinois and in Delaware, as part of a project to retrace certain steps from my past. (Mentally, I've also been revisiting an earlier time, in Green Castle, Indiana, though I've not had the time to unearth hard-copy photos from a visit back there in the late '90s.) It's mostly an OK diversion, somehow fitting at a time when some big changes are taking as part of a transition to what appears will be a new phase in life, now that my son's in grade school and doing well, and I and we are evaluating where next to go, both metaphorically and physically.

Meanwhile, at this time, I often feel as I appear in this photo--a lurker, an observer, a bit elusive, as I decide from what I'm emerging and the most likely, if not necessarily the ideal (though--who knows?), landing:


(Taken on a corner just down the block from my childhood home in Monmouth.)

ADDED: I forgot to mention that I appear destined to walk back down memory lane wherever I go, and even to memories of Monmouth days. For example, I tell a story in from that era in a 12:16 comment from today attached to this Althouse post.