Marlboro State Hospital,
NJ..looking desolate, as it is empty and has been for a number of years.
It is also huge..which the picture here does not show. If you mention
this place, people say.."oh! I know that place..my brother went
there, Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Dad or cousin..in my case it was my Mom..before
I was born, they told me. Today, the place is abandoned and all the
people having problems which formerly would have sent them to Marlboro,
are now home on drugs and somewhere else. A few months ago..winter
months, a grey day, I was driving down country roads in Marlboro, NJ and
out of the corner of my eye I felt a tug..looked as I was driving by and
barely saw the vast brick building way back across the fields.
Deja vu! I know this building..but didn't.
Had only seen it in my minds eye. Did a double take at the next traffic
light, talking myself into taking the time to slow down and listen to
the gentle pull of the past I never knew and only heard about. I
pulled into the driveway and slowly proceeded up the long and curving
I tried to imagine my mother here, outside
on the benches, in spring, with the fields and flowers..or behind the
dark glass. I decided to make a circuit around the buildings just to say
hello to the space and absorb a painful and powerful place of medical
history. Around back, completely hidden was another building with
a sign which said "NEW HOPE". After experiencing the profound emptiness
of building after building after building..this New Hope got me to come
to a halt in front of the door.
Some part of me was thinking some better
communication might be happening right then between myself and my mother
then ever happened when my mother was alive..so I reached into the back
of the van and gathered up odds and ends of art projects, hubcaps,
posters and what have you..up the steps and into the building. Flashed
art and talked fast. What you will see on these pages to come is what is
becoming of that glimpse on a grey day..
Come on around back!