Inside Out

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There is inside. Most of us spend most of our time there. There is usually something that separates that space from nature, which can often be cold, wet, or other forms of unpleasantness. Outside makes me feel small but not always in a bad way. Often both spaces are boring and normal, especially when the setting is mundane, like your home or neighborhood, because you see it daily. Every once in a while something spectacular occurs and what was boring becomes magnificent, strange, surreal.

Imagine flipping something inside out, like an orange or grapefruit. Use your thumbs to push the thick skin so that all the juicy flesh is exposed. You can smell the citrus. Taste destruction. It’s not bad – as long as it’s appreciated. It’s seen as something beautiful. I don’t think what drew me to these sites was destruction but that process of breaking down the barrier from inside to outside. That and the irregular lines, colors, and shapes have much more of an impact on me because of how infrequently I see them. Construction sites are slow and systematic. Demolition is quick and chaotic.

These photos were all taken over the past three months. First I found the Church being demolished, then the home being demolished, then the bird.

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Churches always need a creepy basement.

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On the stairs near the church safe, cashed checks fluttered around a dead squirrel.

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Mass with a sky view would satisfy all the Transcendentalists.

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I don’t know if I could make a career at it, but demolishing homes would be a fun summer job. The intimate corners of the home are exposed. The bathroom is especially interesting: evacuating bowels, showering naked bodies, clipping toenails, shaving parts of your body that you don’t want to admit you have to shave.

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If I had hammer, I would hammer in the morning. Now Everybody–

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Process changes things. This pile of garbage was a home. But it’s not worth $300,000. It might have been at one point but not any more. Take all the parts of your home and disassemble them into a neat, organized pile. Those parts are never worth as much as the whole.

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When I came home, my wife told me that if I was quiet I could see a hawk on our patio. I assumed it was looking for lunch. We have squirrels that run around on our roof, whom we call the Grays, that I hoped the hawk wanted. My wife said that she saw all these feathers that looked like snow, except that they were coming from the ground up. She assumed that our neighbors below had been shaking out a down comforter. Had she leaned forward, she would’ve seen that hawk destroying a pigeon. My Misses has a weak stomach for certain aspects of nature. I put on some rubber gloves to cleanup the backstairs.

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I worked at a restaurant that used to serve fried chicken hearts, so I suspected that was the pigeon’s heart. I didn’t feel like I could be certain. My house looked like a crime scene. Off the walkway I broomed chunks of feathers and flesh.

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This was how I found it. I kid you not.

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