Ed's Blues

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dreams and hopes



In learning to produce my own books I've done a lot to try an improve the covers. Part of the learning process has involved finding the kinds of images that resonate with me. In the process I've discovered (probably tangentially) that I have a fascination with old buildings. The ones that have been abandoned, left to weather and entropy, are the most interesting.


I've decided I'm drawn to these buildings as symbols of dreams. Sometime in the past, someone built these places, or had them built, and they must've had a vision of a life in them, or perhaps a dream of a prosperous business. Now they look like failed dreams, but I'm not sure they are. Perhaps the dreamers lived a long and happy life, enjoying the building and it was later inhabitants who let the buildings go. Or perhaps tragedy struck.

I've decided that the attraction of these places is the way they function as symbols of the hopes and dreams of people I'll never know. Sometime in the past, someone built these places, or had them built, and they must've had a vision of a life in them, or perhaps a dream of a prosperous business. Now they look like failed dreams, but I'm not sure they are. Perhaps the dreamers lived a long and happy life, enjoying the building and it was later inhabitants who let the buildings go. Or perhaps tragedy struck.

As a writer, I can't help but imagine the stories. Of course, the stories I hear in my head aren't the real stories, but ones I am making up. But that's what a writer does--make shit up. 

I took this set of photos in rural New Mexico. Several are from small mining towns in the Silver City area, where the Santa Rita and Tyrone mines have a long history of being driving forces in the local economy. Unfortunately, mining is a boom and bust proposition, which likely means more dreams and more failures than in other places. The boom and bust provide the attraction and the potential for tragedy/ The dreams had to be phenomenal...of wealth, of even better buildings for growing families. And a bust time meant few had the money to take over properties that had been abandoned. By the time the next boom arrived, brought on by a rise in copper prices, it was time for new buildings and new dreams. The old ones aren't fixed. Why live in the shell of a ruined life when the future beckons?



So my interest isn't nostalgic. I don't want to repair these dreams and move in, but to feel them, they way their dreamers manifested them in wood and concrete.

Hey, everyone needs a hobby.