Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wreckage of Unknown Origin . . .

Some previous posts in these pages have featured pictures of wrecked automobiles (see "Car Wreck" in index labels) but this one got into a wreck before it even got off the advertising display billboard . . . What I really like here is the French at the bottom right that says "Quel Plaisir !" or "What Pleasure !" This one looked like it wasn't having a great day . . .
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Life is full of accidents. Some lives come to the end of their line in the form of a wreck, leaving behind wreckage of various forms. One day while out wandering up a back road in south central France, in the Aveyron region, I came across this large pile of the wreckage of someone's life that had been pushed out into a field near where a shack of a house had fallen down, and set on fire. The fire didn't finish the job though, the checkerboard didn't burn, even if the front tire on the bicycle burned completely off. Maybe the fire got rained out. One of those totally strange sights that left me wondering what the hell had happened there . . . I mean, who in their right mind would burn a bicycle ??? I picked up and saved a little ceramic dog from the ashes. . . I still have it.
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This is the bulldozer that I suppose had pushed the belongings into a pile before the fire . . . it was still lurking in a nearby corner of the field . . . I didn't approach too closely, it looked a little surly, unhappy about its fate to rust away perhaps . . .
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28 comments:

Lydia said...

Positively bizarr-o!
That's touching that you saved the ceramic dog.

Steve said...

Re: the fire - I bet it was an betrayed woman burning her boyfriends stuff. Or possibly Luke Skywalker burning his father's things as a mark of respect... Darth was a keen cyclist apparently though was a bit wheezy going uphill.

Not Waving but Drowning said...

Wouldn't you just love to get to the bottom of this?

I'm itching to know what really happened.

GG

Roxana said...

"I picked up and saved a little ceramic dog from the ashes" - this small detail tells everything about the kindness of your heart. it makes me too sad to look at these pictures. the past and erasing the past... can we do it? and if so, what will still be there from ourselves, instead?

Bill Evertson said...

Love that billboard shot. Somethings are damaged before they get off the showroom floor.

Jessie said...

It does look surly doesn't it? There's a great beauty in the remains of that fire, I think it might be the reducing of man-made objects closer to nature. Your little ceramic dog lives in silence with his story, oh listen to me I'm sounded a teeny bit poetic! :)

the watercats said...

wow.. what a find!... how wierd that there's all the stuff, and the bulldozer!??? where did the people go? Did they just leave the house and all their stuff, pile it up, burn it and leave by car?... At one point the bulldozer must have worked... why didn't they sell it?.... was there maybe a highly contageous disease there?... the site of a government cover up..??? ooooooohhhhhhhhhh.... *jumps up and down in chair doing excited hands.....
Glad myself and the ronald aren't the only people with a penchant for aquireing sad and fogotten objects.. :-)

Country Girl said...

Still laughing at Steve's comment.

That truly is bizarre, although all my years living on horse farms and walking in the surrounding fields have given me a glimpse of scenes similar to this one. This one takes the cake, though!

Owen said...

Hi Lydia, "Bizzar-o" is the right word for sure. The fire had happened very shortly before I found the place, the ashes hadn't been washed away yet. And the ceramic dog needed a new home... I couldn't just leave him there. This is another case where I wish I'd had a digital camera, and would have done far more photos, details of all the odd detritus of a life that was partially burned there...

Steve... hmmm, could be, although it looks to me to be a woman's bicycle style, so maybe it was a jilted man burning his girlfriend's stuff??? Maybe Darth Vader, under those black robes, was in fact a woman, and was not Luke's father at all, but his mother ??? Star Wars with a Tootsie twist at the end ??? :-D Gosh, your mind works in odd, quirky, and wonderful ways; I mean, how one gets from this burned pile of wreckage to Star Wars... that's quite a quantum leap of the imagination... but I guess anything is possible where mysteries like this are concerned... And was that Darth Vader's bulldozer also ???

Owen said...

Dear GG, me too, would have really loved to know what on earth happened there... too bad trees that see these things happen can't talk to us... :-] If you got off to England for a while, hope you had a nice change of scenery there.

Hola Roxana, you are a kind and sensitive observer, fine tuned to the wavelengths of what is going on at poetic levels in the universe around you I think... Yes, the ceramic dog (a little brown german shepherd, partly broken) is at the heart of the story, and in my heart of hearts also. There was a profound sadness in these ashes, and strong poetry waiting to be written about it. People change, people move on or pass away, or flee to foreign countries, sometimes leaving piles of property once dear to them, then abandoned, houses burn down, whole communities forced out, think of the former Yugoslavia, all the places that burned there not so very long ago, about when these photos were taken... and yet, despite the melancholy, the tragic turn of events, life goes on, like Dylan said in the Ballad of Hollis Brown...

"There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
Somewhere in the distance
There's seven new people born"
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Seeing things disappear into the past to be reborn in other forms is natural I suppose, while consciously trying to erase all trace of an existence is not, though it may also be part of a healing process, casting off dead leaves ??? But for me, I approach such "found art" with a sense of irrepressible joy, joy at the surprise and the mystery and the confounded wonder of it all... in the years of wandering and searching for dream houses and dreamscapes like these, I am far from tiring of the "discovery" involved... That is what I really am marvelling at each time I open a "Floating Bridge"... it is seeped, like good tea, in mystery, aroma of hidden splendor and poetry, dark and wonderful poetry, just a little out of focus at times, making one look harder, listening to the music there...

Owen said...

Hey Jessie, I think the weather stick was pointing down for the folks that lived here once... sooner or later most everything returns to nature I guess, us included... let's enjoy it while we can, what? Really appreciate your visits! I haven't been out and around nearly as much as I'd like these days, but each time I take a peek, your drawings are lovely...

Hey Ho you Watercats !
Love the "Jumps up and down in chair doing excited hands!" Too funny, I can see you... oh boy, although I had thought about a possible contagious disease there, I had not thought of a governement coverup site... ahhh, the plot thickens considerably there with that possibility... and yes, why didn't they just have an estate liquidator come around and haul the lot off to be resold at jumble sales or what not... the bicycle, the bulldozer, the ceramic dog could have fetched a few quid at least??? Well, at least they left me the dog... you are definitely not alone if you like picking up stuff like that, objects that have been totally abandoned, and need a new home... and a ceramic dog, doesn't require much food or water, nor walking nor shots nor cleaning up after... a good find !

Dear Country Girl... yeah, Steve's a funny guy alright... do check out his Bloggertropolis if you have a sec. I guess rural trash heaps where things get burned are fairly common... but bicycles and checkerboards ? I'm still scratching my head...

Amelia said...

Ohhh...I just LOVE mysteries! It would be interesting to find out what was behind the fire, etc. And it says alot about you...picking up a ceramic dog from the ashes and keeping it...and still having it. :)

Hope you have a good day.

La Belette Rouge said...

I love that you rescued the little ceramic dog from the ashes. You have the heart of a poet. Seeing the beauty in decay takes a special eye.

In a related story, whenever we are driving and we see a very old house or a dilapidated barn or car, my He-weasel says upon seeing the old thing "that is a fixer upper." My reflexive response is always, "That is a burner downer." Now each time we live out that predetermined script in response to the dilapidated, I will think of your ceramic dog and perhaps soften my response.

Marguerite said...

Very interesting observations, Owen. It does excite the curiosity why they would have done such a thing. But who knows? Maybe the ceramic dog knows!

Owen said...

Bonjour Marguerite... I've asked that dog several times, and rubbed his head like one might rub an ancient vase with djini inside, but he's not talking... guess I haven't said the right magic words yet... I'll keep trying !

Dear Belette, love your anecdote about Burner-Downers..., just goes to show there's always more than one way to look at things. Some places are past the point of no return, and cleansing by fire is perhaps not always a bad thing in some cases...

Hi Amelia, plenty of mystery here for sure..., and just went to check on the ceramic dog, he's still doing fine, but not talking... maybe someday...

jeff said...

Ciao Owen !
Comme c'est étonnant ! Tu as recréé toute une vie en trois photo :
1)- L'accident... "Et merde de moustique ! Et l'autre andouille... qui roule... en... sens inverse !... AAAAHHHHH !.SSsssssSSSsss...SPLASHHH !
2)- Toute une vie chamboulée et devoir rouler en bicyclette pour attendre la réparation ! "Ouaih, le mécano ça fait deux semaines qu'il dit qu'il va terminer la bagnole ! ! ! Chérie, tu crois qu'il faut le garder encore ce jeu d'échecs ?"
3)- La prochaine fois, je roule avec un bulldozer ! Au moins !... "Attends Grosse A.. ! Maintenant j'écrase tout sur mon passage ! Meeeeerde ! Un moustique... SSSsssSSSSS... SPLASH !"

Comme quoi !... Mets tous les soirs une prise à moustiques et tu seras bien moins emmerdé !

Mais c'est du n'importe quoi !...

Sorry Owen, je viens de mettre ma "bulle" dans tes commentaires !J'oubliais... Nice shots !

8))))

TechnoBabe said...

Whether the fire was accidental or on purpose, the result was the same, by the photo it looks like just about everything was burned so someone had no choice but to start over.

clo said...

hello Owen...i want to say thank you to translate yesterday your text for me ...you're very kind...:)
but i think i can't ask you the same every day..:)
not very important...i understand some words and after my imagination do the rest...
and when you read that don't smile..I'm miss photo sensible..!! now in French..
merci Owen tu es vraiment très gentil d essayer de nous faire avancer en anglais ..ce qui est bien car tous les jours hop chez toi et petites révisions..tu verras avec le temps je progresserai...même si la trentaine est tout de même assez loin je me sens encore pleine de capacités a apprendre des milliers de choses...
je te souhaite une bonne et douce soirée Owen...
pas trop de café pas trop de tisane...!!
bye bye ...amities ..:)

findingmywingsinlife said...

You've got an interesting blog here Owen. It seems you are looking at things through a different set of eyes than most do. I found these posts of yours to be quite interesting.

you know, the question I am asking myself after reading this post is,"Now what sort of wreckage did the person make of their own life that they felt the need to erase it? and was there anyone there to help them through their own fire- the one on the inside of themselves?"

Well, I've rambled enough about my musings on here. Wonderful writings here Owen, they get the brain thinking. I'll try to visit your page every now and then.

Owen said...

Hi Finding... glad to help get the neurons working, that's what we come here for I suppose, otherwise we'd be sitting watching TV or something ? Well, not necessarily, I wish there were more hours in the day, so as to be able to blog to my heart's content, then do a long session on the guitar, then read for a few hours, then help my daughters with their homework or just talk with them, then sit down with la Grenouille and open a bottle of wine over a simple dinner... and so on, but usually the day is way over before a quarter of all that gets done... Anyway, you are very welcome, drop by whenever you can make it over...

And yeah, god only knows what happened here, what kind of wreckage the person's life was already in before all this happened, if they were even alive still... wish I knew, but the ceramic dog wasn't barking out any truths...

Bonsoir Clo ! En fait je devrais traduire plus souvent les textes, j'admire bcp Nathalie à Avignon qui prend toujours le temps de le faire. Mais déjà parfois j'écris un peu longuement, tu imagines si je commence à doubler la mise ? En tout cas, ta compagnie est un plaisir, si jamais tu as la moindre question, bah, n'hésites pas... ok... :-D Et sûr et certain, je ferai attention au café après la vidéo choc café ! Et pas de chocolat avec le choc !
Merci à toi Clo, à bientôt...

Owen said...

Hi TechnoBabe, Well, I hope someone had a chance to start over after all that... unless they were six feet under or something... I am the eternal optimist, but sometimes when the "game over" message appears, the option to press "new game" is not there...
Thanks for dropping in, if this was a first visit, welcome, welcome !

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Sacré Jeff... comment fais-tu pour inventer de telles histoires à cent à l'heure... tu a été vraiment doté du modèle de cerveau le plus performant du monde ! C'est ouf comme tu débites des histoires pleines d'imagination et betises et droleries et visions juste de notre trajet sur cette planète ici-bas... dans le meilleur des mondes possibles, n'est-ce pas... on va te nommer "Candide"... Ah, les bulles JEFF dans la boite commentaires, c'est toujours plein de couleurs... donc, viens quand tu veux, quand tu peux, et pas de souci si tu pars en weekend et tu ne viens pas... pour qqs heures... mais pas plus, d'accord... :-D Alors, des merguez à l'abricot ce soir ? Ca te dit ? Avec un peu de tise bien tannée ? Je crois que Clo va apporter le café... (tu as vu la vidéo café chez Clo ? Non ? Cours vite la regarder, c'est bidonnant... alors, et maintenant, je cours chez toi...

robert said...

Good morning Owen,
as I don't want to disturb the quite of the night, just allow me to say, that I'm very impressed of your eye and the right places it seems to guide you to.
Await to see it open after a good nights sleep, reading about what it saw.

Owen said...

Hi Robert, day or night, any time's a good time... night is indeed quiet here, but am listening to a little music on YouTube at same time, just found a beautiful video of Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"... good late night tune... will look forward to hearing your thoughts...

Margaret Pangert said...

It does look like a question of marital discord, as Steve above mentioned, but I don't know why it couldn't have been the man (maybe a cuckold). Too bad the chessboard had to go. and you're right, the bike?

Owen said...

Hi Margaret ! It was a strange scene indeed, whatever happened there... marital discord, an untimely death, etc. Anyone in their right mind would sell the bike for five euros at a yard sale at least... It wasn't a chessboard, chessboards are 8x8 squares, so I guess it was dames (?) Weird scenes from the gold mines !

The Sagittarian said...

There's something so wonderful about black and white photos that allow you to "guess" the story, something I find lacking when one uses colour!

Owen said...

Hi Amanda, you're up bright and early... well, maybe not so early where you are... I used to shoot only black and white for years and years, and still love the sober simplicity of it...

swan said...

This picture with the bicycle is one of my favorites, I really love it. The composition is amazing, I said it before and I will say it again... I love the way your pictures tell a story, not just the composition but the pieces in the story as if the metal could speak literally speak and the grass and the clouds... It's as if you capture a way for the objects to reach out and speak.