The first time I entered the Academy I felt swept far, far away into the past, transported through a time warp that captured me like star-matter in the unrelenting grasp of a black hole. It was quite a trip. I felt as if I was treading upon sacred ground where memories linger like swollen fog and echoes of sirens sing out as a chorus entreating to me to stay awhile and quietly share the remnants of a pioneering people. I succumbed to its call, melting away in the scents of a holy and gentle reverence of what was surrounding me. Priceless gems that rebound back at you in twinkles of an eye; treasure chests of who we were abounding, mirrors of who we still are in spirit settled in places of rest. All things fitted carefully in the dedicated hands and hearts of its caretakers whose souls are one with all that surround them. And as I left the Academy that day, I felt awed and strangely silent … speaking quietly the rest of the day.
Sounds of silence permeate the air whose gentle murmurs entreat us to enter within and stay awhile; the echoes of a hush whispering softly in our ears that we are entering holy ground, traversing time zones that wears well its histories for all to see. There is no present here, only endless dimensions drawing us backward into yesterdays. Treasures abound – aged pieces that wore life well, remembrances leaving us here in museums of no return. We are the invited guests … hand-touched and spirit lead into microcosms of wonder and delight that offers us an affinity through the fragile gems of our history.
“Come and look at me,” implore the ghostly voices, “remain and allow us to show you a treasured past that beseeches you to only receive and remember us here.” And in doing so, we begin to feel the galleries … the gentility of embellished plates; delicacies of porcelain teacups of flowered design decorated in images of flowing nymphs unattainable; tenderly etched glassware whose muses invite us to dance amid roses that flow in the grace of symphonies; in elegant ivory ponies that prance nowhere and green jaded murals of bewildered lions. View the rows of apothecary jars of particular essences lined up like soldiers; thirst for cartons of old empty Coke bottles from an age of innocence; listen to the ebony phones whose faces smile in a circle of letter rings that long ago reached out to console and comfort one another through the lonely night, or perhaps tell about the latest sales at Macy’s; see the odd cameras with open lenses from age to age, folded and boxed, as though they remain the sole keepers of the soul of a budding town; view the galleries of those no more. Where have those in the images gone? Fair maidens and hassled old men with unkempt hair and eyes tired of the struggle; of button-up laced children – the inheritors of what would be passed down. View the paintings that mirrored hard lives and tenuous destinies, of stiff-starched formalities that defined an age stamped in struggles abundant. Relish the vast arrays of gold and silver jewelry that sparkled almost as brightly as the joy of being alive.
They are us … who we were and who we will continue to be. Heritages embedded in our genes, sealed in our fate. Living treasures in the confines of an Academy. Unseen, the spirits abound here and graciously have not hesitated to welcome us into their resting place: to visit them, hear and see them, feel them, respect and cherish them … know them. And in doing so, begin to better know ourselves as well.
Specials thanks to Ginny Reinhard, Jan Clarke, and Frances Vadney