Yesterday I took a fairly long walk which included climbing up through old slate quarries to Coniston Old Man. And then returning to Coniston via historic Copper mines. It was a long walk, six hours or so, the sun was ‘out’ and the wind ‘down’. I met many people on the trail most memorably an elderly woman walking out confidently and steadily. Nice day I remarked as we passed. Yes she responded, Not a day to race! I know just what she meant. Having ever-so-slowly gained the top of a mountain it is all too easy to charge off if the ground is flat or slopping downwards. She knew all about that and wasn’t tempted. A lesson for life on so many levels. I’ll always remember her.
What is the appeal of those grand places and venerable artifacts that are left to decay. Then revisited and appreciated all over again in all their faded glory through photographs? Abandoned places the worlds left behind Is a collection of sumptuous images. The photograph above is one I took some years ago but no match for the photographs published by the Guardian.
So, what’s the appeal? The aesthetic of Wabi Sabi fairly much answers the question. Here quoting from Wikipedia:
Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?).