Saturday, September 17, 2011

Because someone has to remember...



“I like places like this," he announced.

I like old places too," Josh said, "but what's to like about a place like this?"

The king spread his arms wide. "What do you see?"

Josh made a face. "Junk. Rusted tractor, broken plow, old bike."

Ah...but I see a tractor that was once used to till these fields. I see the plow it once pulled. I see a bicycle carefully placed out of harm's way under a table."

Josh slowly turned again, looking at the items once more.

And I see these things and I wonder at the life of the person who carefully stored the precious tractor and plow in the barn out of the weather, and placed their bike under a homemade table."

Why do you wonder?" Josh asked. "Why is it even important?"

Because someone has to remember," Gilgamesh snapped, suddenly irritated. "Some one has to remember the human who rode the bike and drove the tractor, the person who tilled the fields, who was born and lived and died, who loved and laughed and cried, the person who shivered in the cold and sweated in the sun." He walked around the barn again, touching each item, until his palm were red with rust." It is only when no one remembers, that you are truely lost. That is the true death.”   



--Michael Scott, The Sorceress


click to embiggen


For more in my series Abandoned America, click on the label at the end of this post.
Images: abandoned farm, Dublin, Ohio

28 comments:

  1. That's an interesting perspective on abandoned machinery and implements.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tess, there are two books you must read: THE NECESSITY FOR RUIN and THE MACHINE IN THE GARDEN by Leo Marx (forget the author of the first). Probably can be found through eBay or Amazon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Catherine...you know me well, my friend...

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is inspiring to me...My grandparents were farmers from the 1920's until the 1990's. ( They lived LONG lives!) Over the decades old tractors, equipment, combines, trucks and such were sometimes parked, and left to nature. Many of them sit there today, rusting, dusted, and overgrown with weeds in the tractor graveyard.

    As children these rusting hulks were sources of endless fantasy: A combine became a pirate ship. Old trucks were, well, old trucks that we imagined ourselves old enough to drive! Broken windshield glass became diamond mines and on and on... I've always been goin' to write about this. An essay I wrote about 20 years, "The Tao Of The Texas Plains" sits in a file, abandoned.

    You've encouraged me to dig for it!

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lest we forget...

    There's always someone to bring old objects back to life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rick...dig for it now...it begs to be shared...

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow! this is great. I like your new series...

    Been catching up on the Manor, and the poetry and beautiful things. Always a pleasure to visit here!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aah Tess! The nostalgia only kicks in when the tools fail to renew..Liked the rust on the palm muchly!
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  9. an amazing quotation to go with your series. beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is exactly why photos like these are important...and so interesting! I have got to look up those books recommnended by Catherine...I love the dilapidated too:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is not just that one can imagine the life that once flowed through such abandoned objects : it is that nature somehow re-acquires them in their abandonment, deconstructing the man-made conformity and turning them back into the stuff of chance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sometimes I watch "Picker Sisters" a reality show about LA designers repurposing old rusted abandoned things from the country side. It isn't the same as remembering...more novelty of the past but good use of imagination...how many ways can you make a table out of rusted shapes?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very beautiful, Tess, both the words and the images!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Right. Someone has to remember!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonder how many lifetimes it takes for a tractor to go from solid to a rusty eggshell? A new take on the graveyard. Lovely post, as always, Tess

    ReplyDelete
  16. Tess, you took me to my seat c.1941-2 on a 'tiller' used to spread mown hay, to dry in the field after rainy days. Old, forgotten, it became my P-40 aircraft. Many missions, many 'Zeros' shot down. I 'helped' to win the war in the Pacific--you can believe that--grin!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your ability to grab us,, pulling us in, and making us care...bravo dear friend :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Someone has to remember, and you help to just that!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wonderful pictures and a great quote.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Boy, this beautiful entry resonates. Some of my friends and I often give one another treasures from our families--hand-me-downs accompanied by their history. We keep the written stories close to the objects or on them, if possible. My sister still lives now, in about thirty homes that have her art or treasures, with their accompanying story. That is a trivial and personal scale, perhaps--but your story made me tear up in a thoroughly good way. You said something so very important in your own powerful voice. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Tess -- Nice words very fitting for the interesting vintage pieces. -- barbara

    ReplyDelete
  22. Absolutely true. Wonderful quote. I so love your "abandoned America" photos--they speak volumes. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Gilgamesh snapped.
    I could feel it.
    Marvelous post and photos,
    thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gilgamesh, the epic name says it all!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ah, yes--Gilgamesh. I am definitely someone who remembers...

    Lovely, and great photos!

    ReplyDelete

Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)