Monday, July 10, 2006

Russellville trip and philosophy

The weekend before last we decided to take the new car out for a country drive.

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The ostensible reason for our trip was to find a butcher shop. It seems that the part of Nashville in which we live is bereft of such establishments, but wifie found a listing on the Internet in Russellville, KY.

As is our wont, we took the back roads.

Rt. 76 took us from White House west to Springfield, then we followed Rt. 431 north into Kentucky and finally Russellville, which we found much to our delight is richly populated with proud old homes like these.

On our way back my wife drove so I could snap pix of the many picturesque barns that dot the landscape. Some of the barns are very traditional in their shape and color. I'm sure that can tell us the purposes for which these structures were built.

Others are more like large sheds.

Others are a bit more interesting.

Some of the structures are in the process of being digested by the landscape from which they arose.

I find a subtle kind of beauty in the way the old houses and barns gently sag under the weight of time and the ravages of termites and eventually succumb to Mother Nature's beckoning call.
At first the paint peels off,

Vines begin to gain purchase on the rough wood

and before long the timbers begin to crack under the unrelenting attack of the elements.

and even the homes that once housed the barns' owners are slowly digested as well.

Before you know it, the housing stock of a new generation arises from the ashes.

And Interstate kitsch appears near the exits.

I am tempted to draw value judgments from my observations about the demise of rural America, the pollution of our environment or the unsustainability of our modern lifestyles.

However, I believe that in the broader sense we and all that we build are destined to be consumed by Nature.

I suppose a future generations' photographers (assuming the human race doesn't extinguish itself before then) will lament the demise of our quaint lifestyle, along with our quaint Internet, our quaint little laptops, quaint little cell phones and so on.

Remember, high tech is always disposable, never permanent and always in the process of becoming something else.

Just like life itself.


Genevieve said...

I really enjoyed this photographic essay. Those are some great barn pictures!

I don't know how I missed seeing this last time I was here! I guess I was overwhelmed by the bad news about your friend's son and just didn't scroll down far enough.

RunAwayImagination said...

Thanks, Genevieve! I was waiting for you to respond to this one, since I resonate with your love of rural buildings and lifestyles.

I was raised in the whitebread suburbs of Northern VA, and so my dad's rural hometown of Gordon, NE always seemed quite exotic to me. I spent the summers of my 14th and 15th years (1959-60) with my granddad and his wife Edna in Gordon. Friends my age in Gordon thought of the the city as and exotic place.

I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, huh?