toward the oblivion of eternity
Posted: 08th February 2015
One of the things that fascinates me the most about ruins is the way in which they relate to our own processing of loss and grief, serving in many ways as an analogy for memory itself. When someone we care about dies or we lose something important to us, we look to our memories to relive our experiences, but find them an empty shell that no longer contains the spark of life. We can see the echoes of what once was but not the actuality of what was lost itself. As the years go by the likeness of the memory to the thing that once was erodes and it gets harder and harder to draw the reflection of the past from it - the present is at work, eating it away, and ultimately it is erased either by forgetfulness our our own deaths, swirling back into the nothingness all things are destined to become a part of. In this way, to refute the value of a ruin is to refute the value of memory of the past itself, whereas one could argue that an overly sentimental attachment to ruins or the past could be viewed as unhealthy, in that it pulls us away from the present into a world that is crumbling in on itself as it phases out toward the oblivion of eternity.
This is perhaps why I associate so strongly with ruins, as I have never felt a part of the present, and yet I still inhabit this plane. I'm always somewhere in between that state of erasure and this current moment, and so perhaps it's no surprise that places similarly in limbo are where I feel the most at home.
'toward the oblivion of eternity' taken in 2008 at the morgue at Pilgrim State Hospital's medical/surgical building. The building was demolished in 2012. For the full gallery on my website, follow this link. If you're interested in more Abandoned America blogs, follow this link. If you enjoy my writing, check out my books: Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream (Amazon / Barnes & Noble) or Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences (Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Signed copies).