We have been spending most of our time in busy cities on this trip, so we decided to take the DART train to Howth yesterday and spend some time on the coastal path.
This is a lovely seaside fishing village, and since it was Sunday it was a bit crowded, but we really wanted to walk, so it was worth it.
As we walked through the carpark at the beginning of the path, we saw a guy in a superman costume get out of a taxi. We didn’t think much about it at the time since it was a few days before Halloween. We started our walk, and some minutes later looked down to a little island just off the coast and saw him jump off a diving platform. He is in mid-flight in this photo but it is a bit difficult to see him. Look for the red spot on the left. Wild.
It was a lovely day. Not too hot, not too cool.
Ireland is really green, and like Cornwall has a really interesting variety of plants.
I can never keep these things straight, but I think this is gorse. So lovely.
There were amazing views throughout the walk. In the foreground is an entire field of ferns that are just starting to turn brown.
At one point the coast path crossed an enormous golf course. We were instructed to stay quiet. We obliged, and we did see some golfers teeing off. It would have been a lovely day to play 18.
But by far the coolest part of the walk was when we went through the Bog of Frogs. It was boggy, but not noticeably froggy.
We walked well over 10 miles, and it was spectacular. It was great to get a pint and some fish and chips once back in Howth.
As we waited for the train to Dublin, a Carphone Warehouse advert kept scrolling through this sign at the station.
Once back in Dublin, we stopped at Mary’s Bar and Hardware for a whiskey. They really love JFK here. And the whiskey was nice.
Cristine and I are in Cologne for a few days. She is at a meeting at the University presenting her work on women’s health literacy in Nepal. I feel so lucky to be tagging along and to be back in Germany after a very long absence.
It was grey and cool this morning, but the sun is out now.
There are flowers at most cafés which makes it really nice to sit outside and have a coffee.
Looks like the Sonnenstudio just took delivery of a new megaSun 6900.
The cathedral here really can take your breath away.
Cris has more meetings tomorrow morning, so I’ll get another chance to walk around.
The visit to WUNC went really well. Frank Stasio was a great interviewer and it was fun to chat with him and Rose Hoban, whose interest in the suitcases brought me to Raleigh for the Lives on the Hill event. Here is a link to the broadcast.
I am staying with my friends Eric and Gail Vaughn and yesterday they drove me over the Dix grounds so I could get my bearings. I saw this marker for the cemetery and we stopped to walk around.
I was actually shocked to see that the grave markers used names instead of numbers as New York State does. And it made me both sad and angry that New York still refuses to allow former patients to be identified.
It would seem such an easy thing to change, but New York State OMH has no interest in doing so.
Please go to Lin Stuhler’s site and read her goodbye post. She has said it much better than I ever could.
Tonight is the reception at The Mahler Fine Art gallery in Raleigh and tomorrow is the big public event. If you are in the area please come by. Thanks for following.
I had an amazing time in Galveston at NamiFest. What a lovely group of people and I felt so very welcomed by everyone. My presentation went really well and I got fantastic feedback about the suitcase photographs. NAMI is a fantastic grass roots organization, and if you or friends and family are dealing with mental health issues, they are a valuable resource.
Tomorrow I am off to Raleigh for the “Lives on the Hill” event which centers on the Dix Hospital complex. On Thursday just after 12.15 PM, I will be on “The State of Things” program with Frank Stasio. For those of you near a computer at that time, it can be streamed here. It will also be rebroadcast in the evening at 8.00 PM. The big event is on Sunday. Here are the details. If you follow the project, please stop by and say hello. I love meeting folks and talking about the suitcases. In addition to the Sunday event, photos are on display at The Mahler Fine Art, and at the Busy Bee Cafe. It should be an interesting weekend.
I had a long walk around Galveston yesterday. My destination was the Galveston Pleasure Pier. Great name, but it was unfortunately closed! This is an interesting place with lots of amazing architecture and history. / I think the green plants in the foreground are some kind of gorse or heather. They had little yellow flowers and reminded me a bit of what I saw on the coast of Cornwall.
When I started photographing the suitcases, I really had no idea what I was doing, or where the project would go. Very early on, Craig Williams introduced me to poet and psychiatrist Dr. Karen Miller, and it has been amazing to “share” the suitcases with her over the five plus years that we have had access to the collection. Because of her, I was included in the Exploratorium Exhibit in San Francisco, and because of her, I gained so much insight into the lives of the patients at Willard. She has illuminated the human side of the folks who, in many cases, lived their entire lives at the institution.
I have always seen the suitcases and their contents as a reflection of who the patients were before, and during their time at Willard. Because Karen went through the lengthly and difficult process of gaining access to the medical records of the suitcase owners, she was able to explore the clinical and bureaucratic side of their lives. On many occasions, we worked side by side at the museum storage facility in Rotterdam and were able to talk about what inspired us about the collection.
In many ways, I didn’t want to learn too much about the reason these folks ended up at Willard, since it was important to me to feel a connection to them through their possessions.
So it was with some trepidation that Peg Ross and I made arrangements to spend the day in the New York State Archives photographing some of the massive case files of the suitcases owners. Karen spent quite a bit of time getting Peg and me access to this otherwise closed collection, and I want to thank her so much for her efforts. It was a remarkable day, and so nice to be working close to Karen again.
I am still not sure what I will do with these photos, but I do know that they’ll eventually be a part of whatever happens with my work on the suitcases.
As I was profusely thanking Karen for all that she has contributed to my work on the collection, she remarked on something that really resonated with me. I’ll paraphrase here, but she said something to the effect that the most important things she has done in her life have been in collaboration with others. I feel that so deeply. Without Craig Williams, I would never had been able to begin the project. Without Peggy Ross I would never have photographed the entire collection, and without Karen I wouldn’t have anywhere near the insight as to what life as a patient at Willard would have been like. It is so fulfilling to be part of a team of such creative, smart, and great people, and I am so grateful to each for their help and support.