Decay As Potential

There has always been something comforting to me about decay.

The defining qualities of life itself seem to be an eternal struggle against it: growth, response to stimuli, reproduction, evolution. We see this drive toward the eternal reflected in the social realm as well. Political leaders erect monuments and statues to solidify their memories, religions craft elaborate dogmas about the afterlife, cultures bring systemic and well-crafted social pressures to bear on people (especially women) to bear children, and so on.

But as a radical, I think there is something reassuring about impermanence. I think that it is precisely the times when we accept the transitory nature of our lives and societies that we break the spell cast over us by the powers that be: “All is as it must be.”

It is amidst the physical manifestations of decay that I remember that things must change. They must. Economies will collapse, empires will fall, modes of consciousness will cease to be… and we get to determine what will take their place.

It is the impermanence of today that makes possible a greater tomorrow.

These are photographs of decay taken in this spirit of appreciation, an exploration of a condemned building in the Appalachian Mountains.

(click “Read More” for the rest of the images)

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