Saturday, March 8, 2014

of no value


All things human hang by a slender thread; and that which seemed to stand strong suddenly falls and sinks in ruins.
--Ovid (43-17BC) Ancient Roman Poet and Author.
What is it about old, abandoned houses and boarded-up buildings and factories? They draw photographers like moths to the flame. In Detroit there are now companies that will give 'ruin tours' of the collapsing parts of that once-grand city. What is our fascination with such decay?

Is it just such a spectacle that, like an unfolding tragedy, "We cannot look away." Or is it that we find and must confront something of ourselves, our condition, our mortality there? Maybe it springs from a desire to share with others images of the forgotten and overlooked, to tell the story and capture the fleeting images of a past quietly fading away.

Or perhaps it's that here, we sense something real. Something authentic. We confront the gritty and painful reality that life, stripped away of love, care and concern is decay and ruin. This is what it's like to be abandoned.


For me, I like to imagine what once was. The families gathered, the children playing, the warmth and sadness, laughter and tears these crumbling walls once contained.

I couldn't find any history about this place online, but looking at its rough-hewn logs... it's old. The 48 acre property upon which this place sits is for sale. The ad reads "Older cabin of no value being removed from property."


For a thoughtful discussion of our fascination with urban ruins, click here.

For those interested in seeing images of "Abandoned America" click here.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, I always wonder what these buildings were like when they were happier/busier places...

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