ascending order

May 29th 2012 Comments: 4 Topics:

Stairs. We trudge their boards daily. They are, however, more than necessary conveyance devices enabling you to go from level to level.

On the contrary, stairs can be fluid, poetic gestures in the architectural landscape, waiting patiently to whisk you away. The act of ascending (or descending) stairs is really a vertical crossroads in the journey. Traversing to another viewpoint; a new perspective is added to the walk. Crawl atop to the catbird seat or lift the trapdoor and hide underneath the floor. Both are haunts of the voyeur. There you can observe, apart from life, yet a part of life. Invitation up or down bids you to a world yet undiscovered, or perhaps once known but forgotten. Either way, you are removed from the weighty familiarity of gravity and granted fresh sight. So seen, flights of stairs can become flights of fancy.


  1. vivienne nichols says:

    Your staircases are elegant, like the expressions of your writing. I’ve a passion for stairways (& doors & windows & gates..portals & passages!) A staircase that affected and in a sense grounds me, is one built by my ancestors. Journeying with my 93 year old Mother back to her ancestral farm in the Shenendoah Valley, we were able to visit the home that her great grandfather built by his own hand, where she lived as a child. As we descended into the kitchen/root cellar I noticed the worn hollows in the center of each step, a poignant testament to the lives of my people. How I wished those humble, crude stairs could talk to me and I love to imagine the stories they might tell. What a subject for reflection as we move up and down through this day…I’ll pay thoughtful attention to the places my feet will take me!

  2. Eric Mueller says:

    “Either way, you are removed from the weighty familiarity of gravity and granted fresh sight.” That is such an amazing, apropos, and transformative description – I felt lighter myself simply upon reading it.

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