Destiny and The Dazzling American Dream

Really, antique stores are the residue of bygone eras.

Bygone eras had people, and people had their stuff:  Victrolas and hat pins and hand-bound books, now abandoned in corner shops, freely available to the highest bidder.

Years ago, people dressed by trend, brewed coffee at daybreak, worried about work, dreamed under the same moon.

Just like us.

These souvenirs from lights now extinguished always remind me of a divine purpose that is greater than my own life. To put it another way, I believe the story of this earth–in which I am one character–started with those who went before me, and it will continue to unfold long after I am gone.

I imagine the lives of those who crafted a now-tarnished spoon, designed a Model-T, or stitched the sole of a shoe, and I examine the things I create–both deliberately and recklessly–and wonder if they are worthy of that longstanding purpose.

Will the leftovers of my life stand like memorial stones, cairns commemorating revolutions, lives changed, breaches repaired? Or, like some dazzling aspirations of the American Dream, will I abandon them in their purposelessness, where they remain buried like ancient idols of clay?

Because of two insightful men and their cameras, I can show you this concept in the ruins of Detroit.

The Motor City was once known as the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. (The picture links to the album. Use the <> symbols to scroll.)
“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.” -Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

What will our legacy look like in ruins?

Indy

© IndyInk and Grits and Bottle Rockets, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to IndyInk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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2 thoughts on “Destiny and The Dazzling American Dream

  1. broadsideblog says:

    Indeed.

    I love antiques and am sitting in an old chair as I write, with an old table beside me. I keep all my tech-y charge cords in a battered old workman’s toolbox. I love antiques because they are memento mori. I am enjoying them for now, always wondering who used them before me, where and when, and who will enjoy them after me.

    I wonder what use, if any, all this plastic tech shit will be to anyone. All those pixels and bytes….evaporated. I like material goods I can hold in my hands.

  2. indyink says:

    I wonder about those pixels and bytes too, and especially books–now that they’re electronic.

    Sometimes when I’m emptying my inbox I print a few personal e-mails to put in a 3-ring binder. I have four of those binders now. It sounds corny, but I’m thinking of how it feels to find letters and notes Great-Grandma wrote. My messages reference the things I liked, the people I associated with, the places I went, the mistakes I made, and the dreams I had.

    Your love of old stuff (and the reasons for it) is very cool. Thanks for the comments. 🙂

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