Thursday, August 15, 2019


The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
It's almost impossible to fathom the fragility of being. If the idea sounds too metaphysical then just look into the deserted hulk of a space which used to be teeming with life. This is the stuff of horror novels like The Shining, in which the walls of the Overlook Hotel are literally embedded with garish and still tortured spirits. However, you have only to walk down to the corner and look into the vacant space which once housed the restaurant where you took the kids on Sundays in that long ago time when a certain way of life was in full bloom. Wordsworth deals with this in “Tintern Abbey,” where he conjures the sublimity deriving from an old and abandoned space which still exudes the past. When you empty out a residence, render it broom clean and finally take your final leave, you’re likely to take once last wistful look. It’s at these moments that you realize that ownership is truly an illusion, however proprietary one’s relationship to reality. Renting or owning, it’s all the same since at same point the prized possession is going to fall into new hands, with the stamp conferred by anyone or thing soon dissolving as new forms of life metabolize in its place. Structurally the surfaces may seem the same, but inside it’s like one of those neurological disorders where the familiar face is now occupied by a stranger (Capgras) or the once familiar face is no longer familiar at all (prosopagnosia).

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