There was a blue tarp behind the glittering mound of metal scraps at Upstate Shredding in Owego—a perfect sky for a jeweled mountain. The only thing needed to complete my fabricated landscape was a sun or a moon. In Photoshop, I cut-and-pasted the image of a silvery ring I’d found lying in the muddy ground between the piles of scrap.
Now, looking over my photos of scrapyard rubble, what I see is ruin, like the aftermath of the recent tornadoes. What were once my mountains of treasure are now landscapes of loss and devastation. As I sort through my photos, on the news I see people picking through piles of debris. And with the holidays coming up, I’m thinking of those who lost homes and all their treasures. Who lost loved ones. And I’m wishing them peace and comfort. And plenty more treasure to fill up their emptiness in the days to come.
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Our civilization is perhaps the most wasteful in the history of the world. The scrapyards you visit with your photo class bear witness to this, and you are able to turn your photos into poignant landscapes. You can also see the debris of tornado-tossed homes in that pile of scrapyard rubble, and you can imagine the terrible sense of loss it represents. Thank you for focusing our attention on those who are going through a holiday season without homes or belongings, and for wishing them comfort.
I’m having a really hard time imagining losing a home. My mind just doesn’t want to go anywhere near that thought. Happy new Year, Lucy. I hope you are finding coziness and comport in your home tonight.