Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writerly Wednesday- Meanderings- Of What Remains #ideas #writing #inspiration

Tucked away on one of the country byways of Kentucky is a small abandoned house with a triple window arch centered on the front side, shattered glass panes in those windows and the ones on the ground floor, the tin roof is rusted red and the exterior walls are dingy greenish gray and as weather-beaten as a grizzled old man who once worked in those nearby fields, raising tobacco or corn or cows under the blazing hot sun to supply his family with food, clothing, shelter.
The trees and shrubs and brambles are grown up around it now, huddling close as if protecting what remains. It looks as though no one has lived in it for years- decades even. A new road runs off into the distance to the right there, with power poles and electric lines, but no one notices the house or what remains of it.

All kinds of questions fill my head- Does anyone around these parts know the history of this shell of a home? Was it once embraced and loved as the "old homestead?" And if so, what happened to the family that once loved it and kept the grass cut and tended to the upkeep of the roof and windows and siding?

I see this house from time to time in our outings and I saw it and snapped this photo the other day when hubby and I were heading home after our anniversary movie and dinner date. Every time I see it, I'm filled with a sadness unimaginable- partly because it reminds me of my old homestead in Anderson County, the one that haunts me.

We didn't live there long, in that 2-story that always brought to mind plantations and the old south, but I felt a connection to the place, even as a young child. This other little house reminds me of it because I know my old homestead no longer stands, torn down a few years back, and I have no way of resurrecting it except in memory and perhaps one day I will be able to at least capture the spirit of it with the written word in one of my novels.

The same feeling comes over me in regard to this little house and a few others I've seen in passing, not just here, but often as we travel to visit my family. There's also this old house (pictured below) that calls to me. (Though I believe this one is currently someone's home.) It's at the end of a long lane that dead ends not far from the interstate and sticks out like a sore thumb. There are remnants of old stone walls out front, which again brings to mind life in the ol' South, plantations and tobacco or cotton crops and my mind wanders to that world that existed more than a century and a half ago and leaves me wondering about what remains... and whether there is a reason I am so drawn to these places (especially knowing I also might have stories to be written someday that fall into that time frame.)
These were places that once called family and kinfolk home to the warmth of the hearth and the love that existed within the walls. The large families gathered around the long dining table, horses galloping across green pastures, the kids fishing down by the creek, the animals that needed feeding at the crack of dawn, the cows needing milking.

Now, a lot of them stand destitute and weary on crumbling foundations, no longer loved and oftentimes seemingly forsaken and forgotten. They have stories hidden in their walls, dancing through the dust in the big empty rooms, buried under the rubble and tangled within the thistle and thorn that's woven around the existing structure.

They cannot tell their stories outright, but I am trying to listen when I am drawn in, because I feel them whispering to me via what remains....

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