It’s only been two days since I have returned from Belgium and I am already fiending for my next explore. I know it’s just around the corner, I have a few invites to go places this weekend, but in the meantime, I am stuck here behind my computer writing grant applications and trying to catch up on my field notes, taking short breaks to look at pictures like this one:
This was a stately home that Vanishing Days took me and Marc to a few weeks ago where we all shared some angsty moments in a beautiful hallway with a spiral staircase, a dome-shaped skylight and some very large mirrors.
The thing about this house, and the reason, I think, why I keep going back to look at the photo, is that it was clearly not abandoned very long ago (I heard 1998 – so maybe 11 years). Generally, I find that the more recently a place was abandoned, the more interesting it it to explore, because it has some sort of presence. You can feel who was there. At times, you can feel their grief and loss. Sometimes, it seems even more visible, some small piece of crumbling failure, a left behind artefact or scrawled note. Maybe it is the line between UrbEx and Infiltration and my need to get closer to that line is becoming greater as I have to feed that addiction.
Vanishing Days, Marc and I saw this bird trapped between door frames and shutters, to panicked to get out, not intelligent enough not to get in in the first place. We saved it, but quickly realized that there were piles of dead ones behind the windows. We were forced to accept that this was their fate, just like the house, now no one’s home, which would die a slow death. But for a day, the house was enjoyed, playful desires were realized, new shoots of life were located, and space became place. As I stare at the picture of this beautiful abode, I like to think that it appreciated our visit.