Dream Window #16: Rainbow of Hope

I’ve shopped at Silver Fox Salvage in Albany’s warehouse district several times for Dream Window frames, and I’ve acquired some beautiful pieces  from that location.  One day, as I walked through the salvage warehouse, I found a fantastic fourteen-paneled Queen Anne window.

I looked at the price tag.  I can afford this.  Up to the register with my purchase.

“Hi,” I said, “I’d like to purchase this window, please.”

“Where did you get that window?” the cashier asked.

“Back in the corner,” I said.

“Can you show me where you got it?”

We walked back to the corner of the store.  I pointed to the dusty spot.  “Right here.”

“Oh,” she said.  “That wasn’t supposed to be sold.”

“Oh,” I replied.  “I saw it, it has a price tag…”

“Don’t worry about it,” she smiled.  “You found it, it’s yours.  Let’s go back to the register and take care of your purchase.”

[hdnfactbox title=”Dream Windows”]

  • The Dream Windows project began in 2011.
  • The project involves salvaging old windows and replacing the panels with new glass and photos and artwork.
  • The sale of these artworks has raised money for various Capital District charities.[/hdnfactbox]

A little window-bashing, and the frame looks great.

First, I need some color for the perimeter panels.  The last time I was at Hobby Lobby, I came across something called “cathedral hammered glass,” a bumpy, semi-transparent stained glass construct.  I purchased several colors of the glass, and then – step by step, cut by cut, break by break, Band-Aid by Band-Aid, I trimmed out fourteen pieces of glass.

And in they go.

Now for the center piece.

After much bantering and hemming and hawing, I decided to take a photo from earlier this summer – a shot of Niagara Falls captured by my Leica M3 camera (“Leica Green”) – and use that for the centerpiece.

And here is the image.  Hope you like it.

Dream Window 16: Rainbow of Hope.  Leica M3 camera, Summicron 50 lens, Kodak 400 film.  Perimeter glass: hammered cathedral (13 panes).  Photo and collage by Chuck Miller.
Dream Window 16: Rainbow of Hope. Leica M3 camera, Summicron 50 lens, Kodak 400 film. Perimeter glass: hammered cathedral (13 panes). Photo and collage by Chuck Miller.

You like?

So where is Dream Window #16 going?  An upcoming auction?  Maybe an art show?

Neither.  Actually, this window is designated for a very special location.


I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I am a survivor of child abuse.  All forms of child abuse that were inflicted upon me.  Physical, emotional, tangential, and any other -als you cold imagine.  Yes, even that -al.

And even with all that damage to my soul and to my psyche, I’ve had people save me from the horrors of abuse.  My beloved Grandma Betty.  Brother Mark Lull.  The teachers and my classmates at Street Academy.  My teachers and classmates at Hamilton College.  And even this blog, in which I have been able to channel out my fears and hurts and turn them into something strong and powerful and positive.

The creation of this “Dream Window” artwork symbolizes that no matter what goes through our horrible worlds, the anger and the dangers and the brutalities and the tears … no matter how far down we are in the world, there is always a helping hand to aid us in our time of desperation.  Sometimes we offer the helping hand to others, sometimes it is offered to us.

All we have to do is grasp that hand and save a life.  And as the old saying goes, whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.

Or as it is written in the Talmud, וכל המקיים נפש אחת, מעלים עליו כאילו קיים עולם מלא.  Hope I spelled that correctly.

So in coordination with Equinox – you know, the people for whom I spend my Thanksgiving driving turkey dinners to the needy – I’m giving that organization this Dream Window for their display in Equinox’s safe house for survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

In this case, it’s an opportunity to pay forward and help others in the way others have helped me.  And it’s also an opportunity to provide beauty and comfort and reflection in a location where safety and protection and encouragement are the most important commodities one can collect.