The past is such a curious creature to me. I suppose that’s one reason why I love to explore vacant and abandoned buildings. I wonder about that the day in the past when the building or home was brand new. What stories and what experiences occurred in the place? What ultimately brought the structure to its current state (often a state of disrepair)?
“Where a house has been abandoned, you can be sure there has been a sad story,” wrote Joyce Carol Oates (HERE). Perhaps. More often for me, though, a vacant building calls to mind Emily Dickinson’s poem “The past is such a curious creature” where the view of the past may reveal “reward” or “a disgrace.”
Recently, I posted information about some abandoned places I visited (HERE). This weekend I returned to one of them, Swannanoa Palace, the summer home of James and Sallie May Dooley at the start of the twentieth century. Information on Swannanoa (a Cherokee word meaning “beautiful river”) is HERE.
By Emily Dickinson:
The Past is such a curious Creature
To look her in the Face
A Transport may reward us
Or a Disgrace –
Unarmed if any meet her
I charge him fly
Her faded Ammunition
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