I was strolling through my forest of old images and came acrossed this one I had taken years ago. It is one I have always liked for the dreamy quality it has. I took it somewhere in Calgary at that nice point we call twilight. The past few weeks the season has been waffling between spring and summer, and the sunsets are coming later and later. Hopefully I will get out in the twilight to take some images. It is also time for some spring clean up of my images, to release those that need their space. No easy task as the first winnowing is done upon download. Some images though, will keep their space based solely on nostalgia for the time they were taken and not on their merit as images. Like a beloved, well hugged stuffed animal from childhood. I hope you all get out and have a chance to create!
I always wonder when I see a house crouched in an overgrown yard, empty and in decline, what brought it to this point. Why have people forsaken it and left it to this fate. Of course there are always the childhood memories of empty or rundown houses being haunted, we all remember them. But often it seems as if people just grew tired of the house and the upkeep and have chosen to walk away leaving it to its own fate. As if by doing so they could erase any connection to the human inhabitants once housed there. Maybe they were fleeing the hold the house had over them and hoped to get free of it and all the memories it holds. Town records sometimes can fill in the blanks, but often we are just passing by the house, ourselves onto somewhere else, and can only puzzle over what was once held inside the walls and at the blank windows watching us pass. This particular house is just a short ways away from my childhood home, yet I never recall seeing it, and it couldn’t have become this desolate in just a couple of decades. It is yet another piece of history that will remain unknown to me.
Here are a few other cast aside properties I have come acrossed over the years.
This chair was headed to the dump along with a few other orphan pieces. Now it is headed to a charity aution. My daughter calls it…….. “The Thinking Chair” and it is covered with thought prompting bits & pieces. Which took forever to sort through as each was interesting. Who knows, maybe the next great novel will be written in it! At least it is going to raise some funds for The Friends Program, and go to a new home!
Basically spent last weekend in the car driving to and from NY. It would have been a great weekend for taking photos, alas I could only do so from the car, but here are a few of them. I have the locations pinpointed so I can go back the next time I am down that way. It is funny how you can grow up someplace and still find old places that are new to you. Not just the fields sprouting matching houses, or the new streets slicing into former woods, but the places that you just didn’t see before. Or the places you never got to even thought they were basically next door. Since we drove past our usual end point I got to see new views and realized they were closer than I thought. Though it is hard when visiting family to slip away for part of a day and do your own thing. The feeling that time is of the essence for being with those you drove to see (or the risk of someone being offended) works against the desire to get out there and poke around. It is also the fact that being in town for only a couple days does impact what can get done. It is also hard to add on more driving on top of the miles already covered. But, when I am down that way in June I will make the attempt to set aside the time and hit the road a bit. To have a bit of off time from the visiting to get the images while I can and I’ll shoot for that. Some days I just want to hop in the car and drive to points dreamed of, heedless of other responsibilities. Rarely do I give in to these impulses, and not always do I end up with great images. Sometimes it is just the getting out there and crossing locations off the must see list and possibility sliding them to the must revisit list.
I have just returned from a journey to the bewildering landscape that was my youth. Each time I go there I end up slightly off balance. Things that were large or small have traded places, things once crisp are now softened with age, and those who once peopled the scene are now gone and in their absence are empty spaces. It is like a puzzle with missing pieces that will never show a complete scene again. I turn and turn again looking for the familiar in an attempt to anchor myself, yet there is a dreamlike quality to the place that doesn’t allow me to. The houses of friends are occupied by strangers, the fields covered by new houses the map of my childhood has changed just enough to be disconcerting to travel. My room is the same except for the furniture that has migrated with me to a different locale, the same morning sun spills in and then out again, yet it falls on surfaces that are now worn. There is a faded quality to the place that makes it feel as if I am in an old photo, slightly out of focus and dimmed with time. The enjoyment of a visit is tempered with the melancholy knowledge that one day I will visit here for a final time and then no more. There will be a last time I walk those rooms before pulling the door shut and turning the house over to the next phase in its history. In the 200+ years the house has stood it will only be the 4th or 5th time the key has gone to new owners, until then the house will breathe slowly and evenly passing the days.
As I was strolling around my external hard drive where I store my images I came across this one. It was patiently awaiting my arrival so it could convince me to post it. So here it is. I came upon this on a woodland hike. Considering how long it must have been there given the size of the trees, it still had a crispness to it. It is always funny to me the places people drive cars that they plan on abandoning. It seems such an undignified end for such a great piece of mobile sculpture. Every time I find an old car like this it always feels allegorical for life in general. There is also an air of eerieness to these places. But I love the juxtaposition of the man made and the wild. Plus it gives me the best of both world, nature with a bit of an urban twist. I did get out on an urban hike on Thursday, over an hour, and then on my way home I squeezed in a quick half hour nature hike. The wind was brutal as it ws blasting right off the water along the trail, not so much cold as sharp. I need to get this image printed and frame it up as I am hoping to here tomorrow about a spot to show some work. And you know how that goes. Even if you have 100 pieces all framed and ready, you feel there are a couple here and there you want to add into the mix! Then you have to review all of them to narrow it down to either the theme or the size of the space. It’s all good though as it ends up getting your work out there, right?