I recently received a text from Richard on one of those dreaded days when he was scheduled off and I was stuck inside at work. He was energetically declaring that he had just taken some amazing photos of an old abandoned mansion and was still shaking. Later that evening, I was awarded a glimpse of the scene that had caused such an eruption of enthusiasm. There it was, a crumbling brick estate hidden in the shadows of the surrounding trees and as wonderfully majestic as he had described. He had captured subdued sunlight flooding through the void where the roof had been. It governed the empty rectangles where glass had previously reflected it, enveloping the surroundings in a dreamlike glow.
With anticipation in his voice, he recounted his experience that day, explaining how he could have easily missed the opportunity as the property was enshrouded in ivy and overgrowth. He had caught a flash of it in his peripheral from the road and realized it was definitely worth closer observation. As he approached the grounds, he was awe-inspired by its grandeur, even in its state of disarray. The soft, unstable ground beneath made him a little uneasy, but he ignored it and continued with light footing. He fought his way through years of spider webs and brush for unrestricted viewing.
The following day, thankfully, was a Saturday, so I was able to join him when he decided to return to Taylorsville where he had stumbled upon it. We discovered that it was not alone in its neglected beauty. There were many others in the area just waiting to be photographed. So many, in fact, that we never revisited this particular site. I am quite certain, however, that another visit couldn’t have possibly showcased it as strangely exquisite as he had the previous day. I like to think his resulting artistry was complimented by the solitude of that moment and that an additional onlooker might have contaminated the equation.