This is such a beautiful, soulful, evocative piece from Andrea — have a look at these photos and her musings about these abandoned, neglected places.
I resonate because it’s something I’ve noticed since I was a wee snippet of a child and wandered such places, or passed by them and wondered about the stories held in their walls and in the ground on which they were built.
Sometimes, after visiting with or reflecting on these places that are like liminal, in-between ‘eco-tones’ or portals, I’d follow the whispers that surfaced and write them into a story that took shape.
I pass by some on my regular walkabouts, but this topic reaches out for me from time to time too, as with Andrea’s post or this bit of inspiration I came across a few months ago and that’s stayed with me, working like a seed in my awareness:
“In a symptomatic way vandalism — which favors schools, cemeteries, and churches — paradoxically draws attention to the sacredness of things. Frequently when we have lost a sense of the sacred, it reappears in a negative form.
The work of dark angels is not altogether different from those who wear white. Here, then, is another way to interpret the abuse of things – as an underworld attempt to reestablish their sacredness.”
~ Thomas Moore, as shared in this reflection from photographer David Masters.
… when we have lost a sense of the sacred, it reappears in a negative form.
… an Underworld attempt to re-establish sacredness.
Well there’s a theme … and that is what the Underworld attempts to do.
Let Andrea take you on a short walkabout and visit with a few of these richly storied abandoned places …
Every town has its abandoned places. Weed-choked, pigeon-haunted, windows toothed with shards of glass. These are the crumbling, forgotten parts of town, where graffiti blooms in shells of rooms, trees cleave foundations and girders grasp the sky. Spiked pewter fences and nailed plywood defend the carcasses of buildings or the spaces where they once were. Perhaps a battered for sale sign or a warning to keep out: nature and man conspiring to repel visitors.
Nature is quick to claim the things we discard. These are the buildings that have served their purpose. Unlike ruins, which are valued and preserved, these are the unloved spaces. The broken warehouse that was once a canning factory; the tilting façade that was a town hall. Buildings with an uncertain future – to be demolished, renovated, or left to collapse. Buildings that attract the wrong kind of attention: graffiti, vandalism, bad behaviour. They are the forgotten history of the town, unwanted relics of old ways of life. Reminders that everything is temporary. If…
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