STORYTELLERS: If These Walls Could Talk

Daddy and Wyn Church

Have you ever had the feeling that a certain place held so many memories, the walls were nearly trembling with secrets kept and stories untold? Places stand tall and still, watching silently as we fill up the pages and chapters in the stories of our lives.

The world is a construction--very real and tangible, but only a stage for the souls that traverse it. But these constructions are saturated with memory. The older the place, it seems the louder is the echo of these souls from lives that have passed this way before us.  I'm not really talking about ghosts, but about the feeling that a place can remember--like our bodies, walls and earth and trees and air can hold the skin-memories of pleasures and pains past.

red and white door

I think about the cracks and scars in paint, brick and mortar. 
I imagine the the fist that pounded a door in anger; 


the face leaned against the cool of plaster to calm a fluttering heart; 

wall texture and corner of window

the nose pressed against the window, longing for a blessed return; 


the feet that wandered unfamiliar streets, longing for home; 

handrail and wall texture

the palm that lightly brushed the railing in admiration and disbelief, savoring a dream come true. 

corner of peeling paint

Like lines on our foreheads, between and at the corner of our eyes, 
the wear on these walls is evidence of lives lived in wonder and worry, laughter and tears.   

strange little door close

The mess is beautiful to me--the patina of time. And I pray that sweet time will allow me also to appreciate the "patina" of my own body, as even at 30 I slowly begin to notice the aging, and to look upon the future as a gathering richness of memories old and yet to be made. For our stories mingle together and lives past live on in our own lives--in our hearts and all around us.

delicious wall texture

* * *

Next week I have a fresh artist interview to write about, but today I wanted to share some of the photos I finally finished working on with all the delicious texture that I promised to share from our visit to Wismar, East Germany at the beginning of October. The peeling paint and crumbling brick captured me . . . I see lots of these as "backgrounds" for some stories told in mixed-media collage. Can you see the place where there should be a "face" in the photo above? Don't yet know how or what, but I'm thinking about a new collection of artwork!


  1. I love your pics and the thoughts of all the stories that those peeling East German walls could share.

  2. What beautiful photos. I do love the patina, sometimes subtle but still so very powerful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. what a magical post..your words and the mind-blowing photographs are just so beautiful :)

    Cheers , Helen

  4. Oh my! That texture is so compelling. You did amazing work with these photographs. YES, a new collection of artwork!! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

  5. Your photos are stunning, Sadee. What a wonderful eye to notice these textures that we normally just pass by (as you can tell, I loe texture).

  6. love the images Sadee
    will definitely be linking up a story this week
    I have a love for abandon homesteads...I will share something on that

    love and light

  7. beautiful words you write with beautiful pictures you take. xokp

  8. @thewillowsnest Mind-blowing photos?! What a wonderful compliment.

  9. @Carola Bartz Thank you, Carola! My brother-in-law lives in Wismar and was showing us around town. And a couple of times he wondered out loud about why I was taking pictures of the things that were older and crumbling because there was "better stuff to see." :) To me, this IS the good stuff!

  10. There is a saying in one of the Indian languages....
    Trees and walls have ears! They listen, carry n tell happy n sad stories, i do feel it so looking at ur shots!

  11. this pulls so deeply at my camera shutters! i am so drawn to the 'old and the crumbling'... what a delight. thank you for sharing it with us!

  12. First of all these photos are gorgeous!!! Secondly, I totally get it about places. In fact, I'm writing a Young adult historical fiction novel because I feel like that all of the time. It does feel like you can "hear" what the voyagers in time have said, "feel" what they've felt. Echo? Perfect word...I can't tell you how you've inspired me today....THANK YOU!!!!

  13. As an Historian, I totally am in love with this post. Blessings, Janet


Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!