Ruins and the Passing of Time

October 13, 2012

“[Ruins] are relics of another time, of other lives, but they are of my time, too.  They are statues, memorializing the transitory nature of life.”
— Brian Vander Brink, Ruin:  Photographs of a Vanishing America

Derelict house along Highway 97 between Yakima and Goldendale, WA

Ruined house with Mount Adams

“Maybe these buildings fascinate me because they represent all of us — metaphors for our transient lives and the inability to stop the passing of time.”
— Brian Vander Brink, Ruin:  Photographs of a Vanishing America

When I see an old, abandoned house like this, I wonder about the lives of those whose home it once was.  Here it was situated under the wide, open skies of eastern Washington — an arid place, hot, but with snow-capped Mount Adams anchoring the horizon like one of those giant Buddha statues.  What would it have been like to grow up in this house?

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
— Ecclesiastes 9:1

5 Responses to “Ruins and the Passing of Time”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    What a wonderful photo. For years, I watched a barn on Texas 35 slowly, slowly give way to age and gravity. After about 15 years, it finally disappeared. It was as though it just sighed and laid down. It still was there, but flat to the ground, and the grasses had grown up to hide it. It was somehow comforting that the people had just allowed it to fade away.

  2. Adrienne Says:

    I just returned from my sister’s cabin in upper Michigan and your blog spoke to me. As we wandered county roads, we, too, speculated about the deteriorating houses and barns and the lives once lived in them.

  3. Chris Says:

    I too always wonder about the families that once lived in those old, crumbling down, homesteads. And I too always try and stop and take a picture of them…they speak to me somehow. I always hope, as I walk away that it was a good life for them and that they were happy, although seeing some of them out on the prairies, I can’t help but think it must have also been a hard life too!
    Love your photos of these “relics” and the passing of time!

  4. Renee Says:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that loves seeing old bones

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