This is Jerry’s Pit, once a spot where clay was dug for the local brick industry, later a swimming hole, now fenced on all sides and unavailable to human beings. We believe in the principle of public access to the seashore; why not to the shore closer to home? If our priorities on this spot were once manufacturing, then recreation, what are they now?
Behind the T garage, the wabi-sabi juxtaposition of land, water, concrete, and graffiti continues gradually to evolve.
(If you click on an image to open it in a new window, then zoom in, you will find that there is a great deal of detail to be explored.)
Over the time of this project, I’ve trained myself — almost without realizing it — to see the kind of beauty that is in this landscape. It’s busy, teeming with tiny particulars, shapeless at first glance, but then not so shapeless after all. It’s messy. It’s something in between categories that we consciously value, not a garden or park, not a wilderness either. This kind of beauty is resilient and quietly insistent; it inserts itself if given the slightest opportunity. It can live along fence lines, in ditches and medians, in so-called vacant lots, which are not vacant at all. It has access to any sliver of space that we have not maximally organized in human terms. We seem to take for granted that we “should” maximize our takeover of most of the space around us; but we don’t always complete the job, and in those spaces where our domination is less than complete, a type of beauty arises by organizing itself.
This is a spot from which I’ve often photographed, on the Little River:
and these are the marshes.
At Blair Pond in the late November afternoon,
the indefinite edge is a window of sky.
The muddy edge of sky is at our feet. We have to keep looking until we see.