Thursday, July 16, 2009
Looking for Decay
One year from now we'll be in the throes of moving from Michigan to New Mexico, a process that will take several months. With that in mind I'm treating this as my last "conscious" summer in Michigan. Once we put our Okemos house up for sale, half of my heart will have already left the Great Lakes State.
I try to imagine what I'll miss. Friends and family, obviously. But when I'm looking out at the Jemez, Sandia or Sangre de Cristo Mountains or enjoying the flora and fauna of high desert living including road runners and sage brush, what will suddenly come to mind that will put a lump in my throat?
When we are familiar with something, we tend to overlook it. This is a time for me not only to pay attention, but to savor deeply. So I've given myself an assignment for the next year, and that is to visit many of the small towns that surround our area and photograph them. I'm not interested in renovated train depots and spiffed up diners, I'm talking about small towns, ghost towns, decay. I want to see peeling walls and abandoned buildings. Rusty bicycles and broken signs. Tidiness is highly overrated.
Yesterday Dick accompanied me on my first excursion, to Lyons and Muir, north of Portland.
Above: The building that surrounded it is long gone, but at some point this tile flooring was not exposed to the elements.
Abandoned church "M. E. Church, 1881":
Use Other Door:
The tiny sign at the top right reads "I have found the perfect woman. I could want no more. She's deaf and dumb and oversexed..." I shudder to think of the last line.