An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Things Left Undone I'm not sure I can fully explain why I find myself mesmerized by THIS. I am absolutely fascinated by places such as these...so full of questions such as: "Where'd they go?" and "What happened"
To some degree these places are testimonies to so much and they lead me to think some fairly deep thoughts about this life we experience here in the world. In a way, these are corpses. Of buildings, yes, but also corpses of the material and everyday lives we have lived. Memories abound...but not ours. They are anonymous and yet we know they are there...like ghosts. These places FEEL haunted and they perhaps send shivers down our spine if for no other reason than by reminding us of how fleeting is our own everyday existence. We see how dilapidated a home can become in a short time of neglect and we realize on what behalf are all of our weekend sweat and tears shed. We fight...furiously...against the inevitable.
In some cases we watch nature "reclaim" what we may be tempted to think was hers to begin with...but I urge caution. We are nature too. The environmentalism that believes (overtly or otherwise) that the world would be largely better off without people is not a true Christian sort of environmentalism. These signs of natural reclamation are arguably as UNnatural as a corporation polluting a river. There is a certain sadness to a furnished home abandoned to decay. Human life once blessed that place.
Anyway, I have explored my fair share of abandoned places and I must admit a near obsessive fascination with them. No, I don't seek them out...but even just in perusing a few pictures I find myself filled with questions and amazement and I can't pull myself away easily. The little details are sometimes far too mysterious.
Returning now to reality and looking around at all the toil we must do to maintain and live. Does it affect life now, knowing that someday my home may be explored be some oddball like myself who will ask of my "ghost": "What happened here?"
I want to leave a good (albeit boring) story for them. Now, back to work...living.
Especially with places that look like they were built by an enterprising man, perhaps with a family. Did you ever read Echoes of a Native Land, by Serge Schmemann? Similar deal, except the broken down house was his family estate and he went back, recovered the fully story of what had happened, from start to finish.
My boys and I went a different route in our walk today,down a back road that I hoped went somewhere but really led to an abandoned building and parking lot, fenced off and locked - no entry allowed of course.
I stood wondering, "What happened? Why doesn't someone do something about this?"
Windows on the top floor looked like rocks were thrown through all of them. The parking lot had grass as tall as my 3 year old growing out of it. It's been there, empty, for as long as we've lived in the area (about 7 years), and I'm sure it's connected with the military base nearby, but why they don't do something about it is astounding.
Honestly, I would prefer a huge green field for my children to play in.