HOUSE MUSIC

‘Detail at South Truro’/gunther

 

y Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

           There is music in this old house, though there is no electricity — disconnected decades ago. There is no radio, no record player, no iTunes. In fact, there are no people.

But once, even before electricity, there was much music. Fiddles, banjos, carved wooden sticks offering the cadence of Irish/Scot heritage but in a new land. So, added notes.

And there was the music of children, the best sounds in any home. And the whistling of the father as he whittled, a respite from the long day’s hard work. The women had their tunes, taught by mothers whose mothers taught them — music with a survival rhythm, deep graciousness, and reference to the glory of the Kingdom and what follows lifelong nurturing, endurance.

The house is empty now for it is no longer a home. Yet the music that helped make it so echoes and echoes and echoes.. 

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com, Facebook messenger.

WINDOWS

Gunther painting/acrylic on canvas

July 9, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     Open a window, and you might get fresh air. Or fresh perspective. Depends on what’s out there, what you see, what you want to see.

     The window frames a scene, and you are in control because you can shut the glass. Or you can open it more and almost jump into the scene.

     You can look out, daydream of people, things, events past, how there has been change, think about what is ahead.

     Some days you are brave enough, adventurous enough, inquisitive enough to open the window. Other times, even the curtain is not parted.

    Yet to have the choice, to have a window that you can open, might be the best way to start the day. You can paint your own picture.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman, ahgunther@yahoo.com, Facebook Messenger

 

OF VESTIBULES …

July 1, 2019

STAIR LANDING/Edward Hopper House, Nyack, N.Y./gunther

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     The vestibule, the foyer, the landing of any house is initially what makes it a home. Visitors — family, friends, strangers — enter there, introduced/reintroduced to what else is in the house that makes it a home.

     Goodbyes, some to last forever like lost love,  are said there, in words, perhaps. Perhaps not.

     Memories are made in the vestibule, the foyer, the landing, many to exist and exist as if never leaving the space.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com, Facebook Messenger.

THE SPECIAL KEY

‘HOUSE IN DONEGAL’/gunther

June 24, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     There is your ancestry, whether you visit it, know it, appreciate it or not. It is in your DNA, in your features, perhaps in mannerisms, speech, beliefs. Ancestry may affect the genes in the way you are gifted with this ability or that.

     You may never meet your ancestry by visiting a country, seeing, tasting its flavor. You may not have the means, or the interest or the ability to travel. 

     Yet be assured that who you are has a foot in the past somewhere. You may not know the language of your ancestors nor their ways, but in the same journey in which all modern humans probably are descended from the Africa of 2,000 generations ago, we each have reference points on the long trip.   

     Somewhere else, separate from your life as you know it, is an ancestor’s village — a house there — and you have a key to its door. Your own key. 

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

THE EDWARD HOPPER HOUSE DOOR

 

‘TOP OF STAIRS’/gunther

June 17, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     NYACK, N.Y. — Once there was a door at the top of the steep steps in the 1858 birthplace home of Edward Hopper, the foremost American realist painter. It was not there in his childhood, 1887 birth-on, nor did the family need such closure. 

     The door, rescued from several originals kept in the basement, was attached in the early 1970s rescue of the then deteriorating, once handsome, modest home of a Baptist minister, Edward’s grandfather (John Smith), then his father Garret, a shopkeeper, then the artist himself. Edward passed in 1967, his sister Marion in 1965, and Josephine Nivison, the painter’s wife, also an artist, in 1968.

     A door at the top of the stairs was needed in the house renovation so that income-producing space for studio renters and a handyman could be had, assuring that the almost total volunteer effort to save a historic home, that of a famous artist as well, could continue.

     In time, the Edward Hopper House was able to open up to the public the upstairs room where Marion, Edward and their mother Elizabeth were born, and so, the door was removed. Visitors to the bedroom are taken by the brilliant Hudson River light that shoots up Second Avenue straight onto the walls. Surely this painter of light was touched from infancy.

     Doors give us privacy, guard the quiet. Sometimes — valuable times — they must be closed. In other moments, they should be wide open or exist not at all. 

     At the Hopper House, now 82 North Broadway, the opened door at the top of the steep stairs gives visitors deeper insight into an artist who never tells the story in his paintings but who opens a door to our own tale(s).

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

 

‘COLOR’ EVERYWHERE

‘CANYONS’/gunther

 

June 10, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     You think of New York City “canyons,” the long alleys created by ever-taller buildings that eat light and cast shadow, and you think starkness, loneliness, monoliths of isolation. 

     But, no. All that, yes, yet there is color in everything. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Gothamites and visitors alike will see architectural beauty, construction accomplishment and “progress” in those dark, gray canyons — all the hues  of living.

     Photographers capturing canyon images will deliberately use black and white film or set digital cameras to no color  to document the magnificence of architectural contrast and the particular “light” in Gotham alleys. The iconic cityscape is written for posterity.

     Isn’t this all “color” of a sort?

    The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

WOMEN AND VOICE

‘VOICE’/gunther

 

June 3, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     In this time of overdue recognition of women, the root of all existence really, the essential nurturer, the balancer, the multi-tasker, the comforter, the rock upon which there is always a mooring when any of us must re-anchor, in this time when we see neglect, lack of respect, taking women for granted and otherwise being content that they are there but not recognizing their full voice and their right to it, we all — men and women, boys and girls — must set forth to change our ways.

     Women — this must be their time, now, henceforth. Their voice. We all must listen. 

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

‘VOICE,’ a tribute to women, part of the related ‘UNMASKED/The Men Among Us’ art exhibit at Bel-Ans, Orangeburg, N.Y., June 1-July 28.

THE PROTECTED HOUSE

‘HOUSE IN FIELD’/gunther

May 27, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     There is no driveway to our childhood home, immersed as it is in dreams and fantasies and those anchor memories which help keep sanity in adult life.

     There is no driveway because within the house we are safe, the straw field engulfing as if a moat around our castle. All the humming inside — the rhythm of our youth — is protected even as we grow older.

     There’s a single light in the window to remind us when, all grown up, we wish to return to the warmth, the bright colors, the cozy home.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

‘BLENDED’

‘BLENDED’/acrylic/gunther

May 20, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

the column rule

(also on Facebook)

 

Individualism builds the world as the genius within the person — the particular moxie — moves at its own speed and direction. Yet there is always a time when one joins another, and another, and the group becomes its own dynamic.
It is then that a blending takes place, and the structure of society rises from the group effort of adding individual building blocks.
There then stands a group of people in community, blended so that colors merge and overlap. Yet the individual remains recognizable.

The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

TURNING A CORNER

‘ABSTRACT CORNER’/gunther

May 13, 2019

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

(also on Facebook)

     We all turn a corner somewhere, perhaps every day, maybe in a month, or just once a year. Maybe only in a lifetime.

     The view straight ahead might be cloudy, and perhaps that’s why we go to the left or to the right and then turn the corner. Or the scene on the life wall just in front of you is so crystal clear that you could scream, and so you hustle off, to turn that corner to something new.

     Perhaps the wall is abstract, yet there is meaning for you as you extract its meaning. And that has you staying put — no corner to turn. For now. …

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com