etched in one's memory

The year was 1987.

I don't know who she was, or why she chose that moment to etch those words in ancient glass. I discovered the message last weekend, when staying at my friend's magic house in the English countryside. My bedroom was in the part of the house that was once a monastery (back before Henry VIII destroyed most of them). I was photographing the invisible road, lined with trees, that seemed to head straight for my bedroom window, where a large plexiglass chair hung from the ceiling (it really is a remarkable house).

It was the first morning waking in this magical place, where I had been awake much of the night, inspired by images of the monks, and the pixies and fairies and King Arthur legends. And then - because I didn't see the words right away - I tried to figure out who this person was - this Genuivere di Gist, who was a cad.

Why was he a cad? Who was the girl who wrote this? Whose advances had been rebuffed by this cool bad boy, a slender devastatingly handsome youth who had carelessly tread on her heart, having declared undying love, then gone and snogged her best friend. The glass of the windowpanes was ancient. What sharp object can etch glass? Only diamonds, far as I know.

I wonder what she used, to carve this message. Perhaps it was the ring that he gave her, before he broke her heart.

Later, in the adjoining bathroom, I saw another message. But this one was totally indecipherable, blurred as if by the fog from my bubble bath, the rain, and her tears. 


Veshoevius said...

Spooky Jill! Made me think of the first chapter of Wuthering Heights when the narrator dreams of Cathy's ghost tapping on the window. (or at least that's the vague memory I have of how it went!)
Also spooky - I've a post lined up with an eerily similiar image of trees (still writing though) - I'll email you when its done x

Romy A said...

that is absolutely and incredibly amazing!!!!!!!! love it

LeahB said...

Oooh, this reminds me of the Old Manse in Concord, MA, where Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia etched love notes to each other with her diamond.

"Inscribed by my husband at sunset, April 3, 1843. In the Gold Light."... and other such things...(sigh).

What a FANTASTIC house your friends have. (Sigh, again!) How thoroughly fun to step back in time.

Finally, I think out of all of the extraordinary scenes of beauty in this world, paths and roads lined with canopies of trees may very well be my favorite. I'm sure the path to Heaven will be trimmed just so.

lorenabr said...

very interesting .... reminds me of a haunting

O D Y S S E Y said...

Last pic, a breathtaking fairyland landscape.
Glad you posted your window images. That's the thing about old, old houses and England. There's always a story of what came before.

jill said...

Thank you: and LeahB I didn't know that about Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife - so romantic - and Veshoevious, I really should read Wuthering Heights (I can't believe I never read it!) and I'll go read your tree post now.

And S, yes, there's always a story of what came before.

I realised after: I just assumed it was 1987. It could have been 1887, for all I know.. or 1787.. if this pre-dates Henry VIII, that's a lot of '87s!

mtg said...

wow, magical photos and the story behind it too (I like your version). the last photo is so enchanting.
btw, I didn't know it about Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife. Shame on me, he is my favorite of all(especially The Birth-Mark).

The Foolish Aesthete said...

What a magical house in the countryside. I used to make a big deal of the name "Jenny" coming from "Guinevere" since my head was full of Arthurian legends and pixies and fairies as a child. How fortunate for your friend to be part of that world, through her remarkable house and woods.

And don't you love the mystery in old houses like that, with secrets left behind? Perhaps she was heart broken when she was scratching at the window ...

- Jenny xxxx

Unknown said...

love those beautiful photos, very tranquillising xoxo
would you like to follow each other?