“O please to keep thy lovely eye
on all poor creatures born to die.” –Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood.
Level 1. Halt your journey, peer down the winding stairs and observe the bricks and mortar of this place.
Our Lady has been stationed to man the lower corridors of the Ground Level in The Nursing Home and to begin at the beginning, the Home was once a Convent. She stands, as one of the many variations of herself, fervently placed around the Home and in her days, she’s seen more than enough. If you listen… just quietly… you can hear the Nuns’ scurries through the bowels of the palace. It was majestic in its day, this, I can account for. The out-dated yellow windows offer a soft, muted glow promoting a certain golden warmth in the shelter of the Lord.
At present, she stands beneath the spiral stairs next to the visitors bathrooms, her arms calmly outstretched to reach for her lost sheep to guide home. As she stands, she bears a tarnished set of rosary beads. A white veil, frozen in all its glory, holds every crease and fold since they day she was made; the silvery material sustained gently behind her all day and night. She is a heavenly presence made of earthly materials, deeming her a solid icon to last the ages. But if you were to cradle her beckoning hand in your own, it would surely crumble. Care taken to polish feet and shower in floral bouquets now becomes an ephemeral memory of long ago. Dust appears. Not a sprinkle, but layers of years of abandon and neglect.
Such layers tell stories.