The concept of ‘letting go’ is one that has been very much on my mind, of late, but I have been thinking about it in relation to people, memories ~ things human, in other words ~ as opposed to inanimate things.
However, I seem to have been photographing a lot of abandoned ‘things’ of late and then today I was leafing through a wonderful collection of Irish Poems, selected by the great Michael Longley. I was a little shocked, though I shouldn’t have been, to find that I had earmarked this thought-provoking poem by Michael Coady, who is from Carrick-on-Suir, a town which has a foot in both Co. Tipperary and Co. Waterford.
Letting GoI love the abandon of abandoned things the harmonium surrendering in a churchyard in Aherlow, the hearse resigned to nettles behind a pub in Carna, the tin dancehall possessed by convolvulus in Kerry, the living room that hosts a tree in south Kilkenny. I sense a rapture in deserted things washed-out circus posters derelict on gables, lush forgotten sidings of country railway stations, bat droppings profligate on pew and font and lectern, the wedding dress a dog has nosed from a dustbin. I love the openness of things no longer viable, I sense their shameless slow unbuttoning: the implicit nakedness there of the taking, the surrender to the dance of breaking and creating.
(Michael Coady included in 20th-Century Irish Poems Selected by Michael Longley, 2002, Faber and Faber:London)
The most recent photograph of an ‘abandoned thing’ that I took was this seat at a falling-down thatched pub on the road between Michael Coady’s Carrick-on-Suir and my home town of Tramore. It has been haunting me as I would so love to know about the people who sat on it; the stories and gossip it heard …..
I’m beginning to wonder now if we can ever really separate ‘things’ from ‘people.’ What do you reckon?