photography from the ground up

Random Spontaneity

…strange how old, obsolete buildings and plants and mills, the technology of fifty or a hundred years ago, always seems to look so much better than the new stuff…Nature has a non-Euclidian geometry of her own that seems to soften the deliberate objectivity of these buildings with a kind of random spontaneity that architects would do well to study.

Robert Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Random spontaneity; you can’t get much more un-deliberate than that. Robert Pirsig hit the nail right on the head with that one. Time and the elements have a way of blurring the lines, by the weathering of old wood, by the erosion of brick and adobe, and by the desaturation of colors that seem to make these old, ruined structures a cohesive part of the landscape.

I’ve driven for hours over backroads and two lane blacktops that (refreshingly) haven’t been repaved for decades. One of those roads brought me to Claunch. The village still has a functioning post office, but not much else. This old adobe with just the right amount of color added sits alone waiting for passersby to whom it can tell its story.

The front of this small bungalow near the village of Cerrillos is a hodge-podge of materials; stucco, fake brick, and, underlying it all, plywood. The door is beautifully weathered and the textures are all the more evident due to that weathering.

The thing I like best about this photograph is the cutaway caused by erosion of the adobe wall. It’s like a glimpse into the lives of the long gone inhabitants. The double doors were obviously a replacement of a larger one. The melting adobe gives it all an organic feeling.  To me, these elements speak of lives lived here in times past.

This old wooden shed has been surrounded by Chinese Elm trees. They have grown around its perimeter in an opening gambit to reclaim the ground on which it sits. The scene has a sense of serene finality about it.

6 responses

  1. Sue

    Love these, especially the last image with the elms

    Like

    July 16, 2022 at 8:39 am

  2. Wonderful Photography

    Like

    July 16, 2022 at 12:20 pm

  3. Hello. Real good post. That bungalow is really something. It would be fascinating to somehow know its history. Neil S.

    Like

    July 19, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    • Yeah, there’s little evidence around the site to infer a history from.
      The area was heavily mined in the past, so maybe miner’s cabins.

      Like

      July 19, 2022 at 4:23 pm

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