What is it about abandoned buildings that is so compelling? Given that the theme of this week’s photo challenge is ‘abandoned’ I’m obviously not the only person to think so. I find abandoned buildings sad and lost – and can’t help wonder about their stories and the stories of those who lived/worked/died there.
Dad is the same way – over the years he has painted many decrepit old barns and derelict buildings of all shapes and sizes. A few years back he was fascinated by the facade of one of Victoria’s old brick buildings that had carefully been salvaged and propped up prior to the property’s redevelopment. The project had been in limbo for a while when he started working on the painting and we captured all the stages of its development in this short (less than a minute) time-lapse photo video.
Partway through you can see two figures appear – and though the whole painting is interesting and full of intriguing details, it is their presence that I am most curious about. What are they doing? Who are they? What are they talking about?
Depending on my mood and how optimistic I am feeling about the world, they are two heroin addicts finding a quiet corner to shoot up – or they are activists scoping out the empty lot as a possible place to do a bit of guerrilla farming – or, they are young lovers who just wanted to sneak away from their respective day jobs for a quick snuggle…
If you click on the link to the image (for some reason, I don’t have a copy to upload from this computer) you can zoom in on different areas to better read the graffiti, etc. If you have a closer look at the seated figure you might notice some similarity to yours truly… Dad had me pose (out on the deck, if I remember correctly) and then based that person (druggie/world-saver/hussy?) in the painting on the photos and sketches.
The process wasn’t unlike what I do when I create fictional characters in my novels – I am often inspired by real people I meet and then plunk them into some alternate world and make them hang out with people they would never meet in their actual lives. The fact I am sort of in this painting does nothing whatsoever to help me know the story behind whatever conversation it is those two might be having… and Dad isn’t saying.
Hard to believe 30 days have come and gone and somehow there was a blog post every day! Thank you to Holly Spangler over at Prairie Farmer for getting things organized… It has been great checking in with some of the other farm bloggers and I hope they keep going so I can keep tabs on what’s going on with my favourites!
Today I’m doing double challenge duty by wrapping up the month with a contribution to the weekly photo challenge because this week’s theme (Let There Be Light) ties in perfectly with almost a week of sunshine! November is not known for being bright and clear around these parts, but we have had a remarkably good run recently even if the sun barely clears the top of the fence even in the middle of the day.
Weekly Photo Challenge – Let There Be Light
According to the forecast, we are in for a bit of rain, then clear skies ahead but with another dip in temperature that threatens to once again cause trouble in my watering systems! I tell you, I never used to watch the weather and the forecast the way I do now that my life is seriously affected by what’s going on outside.
Way back when I had a government job and spent my days cozied up in a temperature-controlled office, there were times when I would look up from the work at my desk and actually have to think hard for a minute about what month it was. Not any more. I am counting the days until the winter solstice when the days will again begin to lengthen. When we have these chilly spells, I plan certain chores around the time of day when I have the best chance at the water lines running free. I change my route slightly so in the steepest or slipperiest parts of my rounds I am less likely to wipe out on icy patches. I carry spare gloves in my jeans pockets so I can switch halfway through the rounds and warm my fingers up. I know when the sun comes up and, to the minute, when it sets as this determines when I need to be outside to round up the poultry and put all the birds to bed.
Everything is simpler (you can’t put birds to bed in the pitch dark – even if you can find them, the raccoons might have got there first) and, at the same time, more complicated (not everyone understands that you plan your social calendar based on when the sun sets and not the time on the clock). The variation in day length is pretty drastic here – in the middle of summer I’m lucky to get back into the house before 10:30pm, but at this time of year with the sun going down at about 4:20, that doesn’t leave a lot of daylight hours to get all the basic chores done.
So, yes – I’m all for chanting, “Let There Be Light!” because right about now in the grand cycle of the seasons, I just can’t seem to get enough of it!
There is a horizon there somewhere… quite a challenge to take a horizon photo under conditions like these! There should also be a bright morning sun somewhere…