… on… interest in humanity….

THE STORY OF OUR LIVES is a series of photographs of signs that when taken outside the context of their function (and sometimes location) have a dual purpose of telling our story of existence.   In other words after we are gone and our culture no longer exists,  how would others (or aliens) interpret our lives based on what the signs reveal – supposing aliens decoded and understand our language?

This latest image is a personal favorite:  It is simply titled THE STORY OF OUR LIVES #95

Story Of Our Lives #95

This image as taken at a demolition site.  I found this sign on what remained of a wall at the site.   It’s a fascinating and wonderful little chapter in the story of our lives.

While smoking has been deemed as bad for our health and in some cases has been made illegal as a result – it is in a location that has been destroyed, demolished.  The demolition had nothing to do with smoking.  This is a perfect metaphor for our lives.  Life is fragile and there is more than one thing that can disrupt, tear apart or destroy it.  So often we focus on the wrong things.   We go to great expense to make things like smoking, abortion, drugs, “assisted suicide” etc illegal.  And while those things may destroy our lives as we know it – we actively pursue other methods of destruction – war, income inequality, denial of medical care etc.   Is it better to deny a person’s choice of self-destruction  in order to insure the destruction of many?  That is what is happening in our culture and our world.  It is seen in our immigration policies, how we deal with refugees, it is seen in our responses to foreign powers that we have deemed as enemies.  It is seen in the laws we pass for our own people.

  • Is it better to deny an abortion for a life that does not yet exist only to – after it is born – send that life to war to die?
  • Is it better to keep that minimum wage so low in order to help corporations enrich themselves while people cannot afford health care?
  • Is it better to deny the right for a person who has chosen to end their life only to ensure ongoing suffering and the slow destruction for that person and their families?
  • Is it better to deny people safe harbor because you are afraid – only to have them die at the hands of their own governments?

What makes life so precious is that it is fragile.  There are any number of things that can snuff it out in an instant without our help – disease, old age, the environment (poisonous plants, wild animals, accidents, etc)

Two things make life something worthwhile:

  1. It is limited – we are all mortal – we will all die at some point.
  2. Choice – we all are born with the ability to choose when and how we will die.

Now this may seem like something of an oversimplification but it is none-the-less true.


Adventures in the sleepy town of Sandusky, Ohio.   A small town on the southern edge of Lake Erie, a former bustling industrial and fishing port that is re-inventing itself as a resort town.   It has come a long way and will soon be the tourist magnet they hope to become with industrial spaces being converted into lakefront condos and shops, eateries etc galore. And they seem to be making a fine effort at restoring/preserving some of the old historic buildings downtown. But for now enjoy some of the remaining grunge of spaces in transition. As a soundtrack click “play” on this wonderful instrumental song, SANDUSKY, by Uncle Tupelo

All Images taken on 5/17/15

My City

st. bernards no more
I actually went out with my camera again. It’s been quite a while since I went in search of interesting places and spaces. I am amazed at how readily my city tears itself down in ongoing urbacide (urban suicide). There are more real estate signs on vacant lots than I could ever hope to imagine. It seemed sad to remember the places that stood in those empty lots and how all that may remain is someone’s fading photograph. There is a feeling of security in seeing familiar buildings that still stand – a bit like seeing an old friend.  And when those buildings are preserved and reused – all the better.  But too often they are torn down and just an empty space is left.  People don’t want to invest in what was.   What was, is too often viewed as an eyesore, an ugliness, or too costly and is removed – often with the excuse of safety concerns or in the name of progress; when this happens it not only changes the skyline of the city but also the skyline of the cities soul.  Something is missing.   When I got home I wrote this,

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Empty spaces are all that remain
where factories made my world.

A dream that never was
cannot be remembered or built upon.

There is no foundation
there is only dust and wind.

Remembrance is only a delusion
sickness of mind and soul
for a community that is trapped
in its struggle to free itself from nothing.

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Places where people lived
where the voices of children could be heard.

Now there is silence
even the ghosts don’t linger here.

Some say silence is golden
but the same silence can drive a person mad.

There are holes…

*note – the photo in this post features what used to be St. Bernard’s School. A wonderful stone and brick structure that was originally build in 1887 and was one of the oldest buildings in Akron. Demolition began on 3/28/14. Another hole has been made.