I took this photograph yesterday in Santa Monica, just before the rain came. Its the shell of a beautiful old mansion left to ruin, and yet still it stands with as much dignity as it can. Its cracked, bleeding walls hold a fascination for us. We mourn for what it once was and what it can no longer be. Its sad to see such a thing, a frail skeleton of itself, stripped bare and standing naked. Yet there is such beauty in its vulnerability. We are taken in by all the life it once held and are reminded of the impermanence of everything, including ourselves. What if we allowed ourselves to be like this, standing full until the curtain falls. Loving and exposing every one of our flaws, so that we can be traced in them. I am not saying a little bit of paint, touched up here and there, broken windows replaced would be a bad thing. I am not talking of neglect. I am talking about hammering and chipping and painting over the very things that make us human.
Behind this mansion is a tall shiny grey office building,a nice angular structure, perfection in every way. When that building falls though, I will not be standing looking at it through my camera. I will not mourn for something I, as a woman, I don't know, though I am told to strive for it every day.
I wanted to peer into every crack of that mansion, I wanted to put my ear to the wall and hear what it had to say. I wanted to run my fingers over each crumbling brick, I wanted to feel her last breaths.
Is it time for real beauty yet?