Friday, 24 June 2011

New Light Through Old Windows

Some years ago, longer ago than I care to remember, me and my friend were on a photography course.

We were out taking photos, looking for the shadows: the things that other people might not notice when we came upon the remains of an old factory.  Little more than a few bricks that marked the passing of a few hundred working lives: lost forever now.

And as we were taking pictures of brick piled onto brick a man approached us and tried to sell us on God, saying that it was the work of Satan that we were focussing so much on destruction and that if we followed this path then surely there could be no salvation for our souls.  The only solution?  Come to his church meeting next Sunday.

Now, even as a kid, I knew that this man was talking from where the sun don't shine, but I guess that I was still to young to really tell him why.  So, my friend: if you're still out there - here's why.

In every abandoned brick there are a thousand grains of sand.  Tiny atoms of creation that have come together in this place.  In every piece of destruction there is the hope of resurrection: the birth of something new.  Every abandoned building, no matter how decrepit, has a story to tell.  What lives were lived in this place?  What happened for the building to get into this state?  If God did indeed create then surely it is equally magnificent that he can destroy.

To look on all that wonder and only see evil?  Now that's what I call the loss of a soul


Friko said...

You may not be on first name terms with God but you have what religion says we have, a soul.

For me the jury is still out on that one, I shall remain an agnostic, but I like the thought that life is everywhere and while there's life, there's hope. Every crumbling edifice had to be erected first and can therefore be erected again, in some form or other.

Let's hear it for Life with a capital L.

pohanginapete said...

Beautifully said. Ruins move me far more than most modern buildings; the absence of a soul is seldom better expressed than in the sterility and oppression of a gleaming new building.

Michael said...

Yes, we see what we think.

The Bug said...

Well said! I find everything around me to be amazing, whether it's new, old, whole or broken. And as a believer I definitely see God in all those places (although I'm not much a one for saying that the bad things that happen are "God's Will").

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Friko - indeed.

Pete - yes i agree. ruins are far more interesting

Michael - agreed. Most of our truths depend on our own point of view, as someone once said

Bug - i think we all need to take time to see the wonder in the world

Argent said...

It's that kind of narrow, joyless, mean-spirited view of things that really puts me off religion. I had many years of it as a youngster and it's a tough one to shake off. I really like that pic though. I like old buildings too and that one looks like it certainly has a tale or two.

Lydia said...

The image is truly special. Your message is so profound. What a combination of simplicity and complexity there is in a decaying building. I love them too.