Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Wall of Block Glass

When I was a child, on each side of our front door there was a pnael of block glass. I was there when then men built in the porch, set the door, and placed the glass blocks to stand beside it. The squares were the first block glass in my experience.

I wondered about how they were like hollow ice cubes. Phoney and dry. They were cold to the touch, but sort of green. That just wasn't right. Nothing was friendly about the block glass, yet my mother so liked it. I tried to see why.

When I grew up and learned that block glass was a symbol, a statement about a time, I warmed to it, especially when I saw it on home shows on television. I liked it when it was used inside as a part of the house design. For some reason it made more sense to me then. Block glass and I struck up a friendship. It's a reminder and a protection.

This night when only clouds without stars hang from the sky, I feel strangely like I see a wall of block glass keeping watch over me.
--me strauss Letting me be


Dawn said...

I never saw block glass until I moved to the midwest 4 years ago. Until just now, I didn't know that's what it's called. I have it in my home now, too. I find it curious. I'd love to know what you mean when you say it's a statement about a time. To me, it says something about light and visibility. You can't really see through them from either side. They're neither a window nor a wall. Hmmm. I just don't know. :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dawn!
Block glass is from the 1940s, I think. It has propoeries of insulation and is art deco in style. It lets in the light, but not the visibility. Maybe that's why id didn't appeal to this child.

Lucid said...

What an interesting post. It is sometimes fustrating looking at this kind of glass. Your eyes want to see throught it, and like it was mentioned before, it is hard to clearly see.

I think life is like this. We want to see things clearly, but sometimes we just can't.

Have a nice day Liz!

ME Strauss said...

hi lucid
Thank you for drawing that analogy to life. I've so mindless lately it was lost on me. Life is like block glass, isn't it? We can alsmot see, but not really. No wonder so many people do not like it. :)

Janus Torrell said...

Block glass reminds me of my dentist office and my old gym at school.

So I am torn between drills and basketball when I think of it.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus!
I know what you mean. It can always seem to hide something dastardly. :)

domestika said...

This sounds like a joke, Liz, but I swear it's true — I have a recurring dream about 'glass bricks' - as they're called up north here.
The dream comes to me about once a year, or maybe 18 months, since about 1980... I'm not telling the plot details (!) but the setting is a huge bright spa-type bathroom with a great curving 'privacy wall' of those glass blocks... It's been a while, thanks for the memory-jogging post. You describe the peculiar nature of those blocks just perfectly.
~ Jen

bradford said...

I can't attach the first memory to any spot (yet) but I've always loved the effect as environmental expansion.