Friday, June 25, 2010

Eugene Richards The Blue Room

Eugene Richards' book The Blue Room, photos of and in abandoned houses in New Mexico and Nebraska and Wyoming and North Dakota, has thrown me into a downspiral. A beautiful and melancholy downspiral.

After "reading" the book of photos, one beautiful image of death and loss and decay after the other, after the bonechill induced by the house cornered by barbed wire gone slack followed by the photo of a double bed drifted with snow through the broken window, after gasping at the prosthetic leg abandoned but still wearing its white shoe, I'm more certain than ever that the thing of which I'm most certain is absolute. Ordered systems tend to disorder. Without fail.

The photo I've found in a National Geographic article by Richards and Charles Bowden again lays the ordered systems of industrious human beings -- plowed field, barbwire fence, graded road, framed house -- against a cold and merciless nature.

Entropy is the law in North Dakota. And in the house of my brittling bones and sagging flesh.

1 comment:

Jorgen said...

In the face of this insatiable force towards disorder and separation, it's no wonder that nearly all living (sentient) beings seek to be a part *of* something, rather than apart *from* something. Ironically, the only way to be a part *of* one thing is to part *from* another - and the dilapidation process persists. I often work on problems of personal identity through time in my studies, and as of late it seems to me that the only thing that persists through time is the constant process of never being the same as ourselves from one moment to the next. Our identity, quite possibly, hinges on the fact that we are always fleeing from ourselves. It's only a matter of "time" (note that 'time' is a concept dependent upon entropy in the first place) before the processes of fleeting selfhood becomes disparate altogether.