Things, Places Not As They Seem

On Tuesday, my Inevitable Coffee Ring for the post (Finding the Nerve) was clear and simple. It was about the Great New York State Fair, types patrons you would see at the fair were talked about, facing fears and pursuing passions, thrill rides were mentioned, and the moment before the coaster’s speedy descent and travel through the rest of the course.

Today’s ICR’s Espresso Shot is a little different.

I’m obsessed with Rene Magritte. His paintings speak to me, they confuse and inspire and Elective Affinitiestease me. His explanations of each paintings make complete sense. And his Elective Affinities (1933) seemed to be appropriate for this post.

“One night I woke up in a room in which a cage with a bird sleeping in it had been placed. A magnificent error caused me to see an egg in the cage instead of the vanished bird. I then grasped a new and astonishing poetic secret, for the shock which I experienced had been provoked precisely by the affinity of two objects — the cage and the egg – to each other, whereas previously this shock had been caused by my bringing together two object that were unrelated.”

And so the white canvas of WordPress sat in front of me. What can I put together that are completely unrelated?

In Syracuse, we have a mansion on James Street that houses The George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation. Its a wonderful, beautiful mansion and a significant part of history, which includes the Underground Railroad. A friend of mine acquired the foundation’s first Executive Director position, and she asked me to sign on as a grant writer (one of my new projects). Along with two other locally-focused and centered writers, we’re going to keep this foundation afloat and this building standing. There is no use in knocking down a piece of history, which we States folk are so often quick to do. With this piece of history, many events can take place within these walls.

While writing there a couple weeks ago, I took a picture that I wanted to use for a post:



This was taken in the library of the mansion.

Seriously? How beautiful is this one room. I love the symmetry and parallels, the “two” concepts.

With many of my posts, I like to string ideas and themes and concepts together; this is especially true with the Thursday Espresso Shot posts. With the concept of facing your fears and pursuing your passions and thrill rides, the picture of the Ferris wheel that was taken on Sunday was the second picture considered:


So, what if you put both the pictures together?


The Magritte pictures that I’ve placed into today’s post, which is linked at the end include (in random order):

So, you’re going to have to do a little research and a little art gazing.

When you are reading:

  • Keep in part the similarities of the movements of the men, how they are similar. That’s done on purpose.
  • The men are mirrored, and could one be a reflection or projection of another? Is one an older version of the other? The attitudes: calm versus nervous. The perceived ages.
  • The proper etiquette of men not wearing a hat inside.
  • The butler wearing the bowler. Is he really inside?
  • The word cyclical with the picture of the Ferris wheel.
  • Time and location is an obvious one.
  • Again, a den setting versus Ferris wheel car. An egg sitting in a cage.

Grab a beverage. Enjoy. Read. Re-read. Think.

Here’s the link:

The Espresso Shot (#017): The Overlap

11 thoughts on “Things, Places Not As They Seem

  1. Great article about the NYS Fair! And you’re right on how it’s a place to learn about our grand state. As I got older, that’s one of the reasons why I still loved going. Plus, where else can I try 10 different types of honey or maple from local farms, or different wine slushes across the finger lakes? It’s never a dull experience for me. Hope you had an awesome time!

    1. Thanks!

      I know, right? The more maple this-and-that, the more sweeter we upstate New Yorkers become. I’ll let you have all the wine slushies you’d like, and you can use my share of tickets for the beverages as well. The “wine” is way too sweet for my taste buds.

      The time was an overall awesome time. I ate a lot, which is the most important (maybe). Hope you had a good time as well, and I think I may have seen you … that’s sounds odd, I know, but this person looked like your Gravatar. Did you end up going to the fair last Thursday?

      1. Ah ok! Yep, my brother and I were around there cause I wanted to show him the Leonardo made of food cans, lol! I was wearing a ND shirt.

      2. Lol, hello! And I had an awesome time at the fair! I went 3 days in a row actually. One day for the Carrie Underwood concert!

      3. Wow. Kudos to you, trooper. I ended up going twice. I had one more ticket, but plans fell through. I normally go once and call it a day. I’m turning into a Fair person … Yeah, I almost hashtagged that

      4. I’ve been a fair person ever since I was little (mostly for the rides back then), so I don’t see any shame in being one, haha. 🙂 I often go twice with different crowds, but it just kind of happened that I went 3 times this year and 3 consecutive days. Well worth it though. More wine slushies and fried dough, lol!

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