Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Abandoned buildings, to me, are like dead bodies. They are neglected, broken outer shells that once housed life and a sense of possibilities. They're a visual reminder that something used to be there, and that there once was a point in time where a lot of people invested their ideas and labor into that shell-- in the hopes that it could be the physical base of something alive and working and a part of a community.

One thing I like about Richmond is its age. Even though I never cared much about history, I like that I'm in a place where things have been happening for a long time (relatively speaking). The effect isn't as strong as that of, say, Prague... but when I'm in an older city, I feel a little bit more like I'm part of a long chain of humanity, instead of just an inhabitant of a sterile, new, mass-manufactured McCondominium in a newer city.

It's good that buildings can get restored. Because, although the tenants of a building are usually transient, a sense of continuing life and culture can stay in a city's buildings almost indefinitely, as long as there are people around to inhabit the city. When I see an empty, run-down storefront, I feel like more has happened than just a business failure-- I feel like something died.

It would be interesting if we had the capability to approach human life in a similar fashion. If we could keep a life continuing forever. Now, obviously, we can't do that, and we're likely not meant to. But if the human spirit were embedded in some physical organ that we could transplant (the brain?)... what if we could just restore bodies the way we can restore buildings? I guess we have surgeries and transplants that prolong life, but eventually, even the brain would wear out and fail. Similarly, most really old buildings end up being condemned or destroyed somehow, don't they?

All we are is dust in the wind.

No, not really. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good blog...i completely agree...and ponder every aspect. And transplant a human brain...hmm...so what personality would that person have? Interesting....