Thursday, August 26, 2010

Portal land

Well, if I ever thought a children's museum had nothing to teach me that notion has now been silenced. The display about Navajo constellations at the Children's Museum of Maine would have been enough, (there are interesting overlays between their constructions and the ones I've grown up with) but also the museum houses a camera obscura that views the city of Portland though a cupola on its roof. We were there on a gloomy day so the image reflected down onto the screen, a white round table about 3 feet across, was murky but still intriguing, and the actual cars that drove down Free Street became toy cars the children picked up on notecards.

Sitting in the small theatre it was easy to imagine being inside an eye, perhaps your own eye, the image casting down onto the retina from the lens above. It resonated, it still does. I learned from a fellow blogger that Prospect Park once had a similar structure on a hill somewhere near the Boathouse. Say we bring it back? What could inspire contemplation better than a silent boat ride followed by time in a vision closet?

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