Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Drawing inspiration from exploring

I took this in a courtyard. I like the contrast of the shade
from the trees with the sunlight from above.
I recently went on my first urban exploration. Let me explain why. I'm a paranormal junkie. The unknown. Otherworldly. I am fascinated by the things which cause those bumps in the night. By the abandoned places. By the possibilities of what could be or what was. When the prospect to walk around the huge property I've always wondered about whenever I drove by, I jumped at it. The time had come to stop feeding my need through TV shows or You Tube videos and experience it for myself.

A note: This place looks abandoned. It is owned by a company which is trying to sell it so I will not name it.

Of course, the day we chose for our walk was hot (over ninety). That might explain why we were the only ones around. The property is overgrown, which provided shaded sections. Let's just say I was in awe. Of the magnitude of the buildings, their architecture, the size of the land, and the condition of every single thing I saw. It was like walking back in time--everything seemed frozen, stopped in a particular moment in time. The feeling I had while trekking around was one of melancholy--especially since I knew the history of the place and of its inhabitants. I was also angered by the total lack of respect by vandals who had torn piping and others who had spray painted obnoxious images and words. The graffiti took away from the beauty and mystery  of the place. Once I was able to push those feelings aside, I still found symmetry. I tried to capture it with my camera. (Some pictures were taken with my Olympus, others with my iPhone. Note to self: charge camera before going out.)

This was the walkway into the courtyard. It could also
be construed as a doorway to the past.
It is amazing how nature reclaims what was once hers. Foliage was so overgrown, blocking the sides of buildings. Ivy took over many a brick facade. Where parts of foundations or staircases crumbled, greenery sprouted, staking its claim. There was a gentle aura of peace over our entire walk. We respected the location and didn't feel any chills or hear anything out of the ordinary. I do not know if any of the places we saw were haunted. I could only imagine what some of the inhabitants went through so that was a bit jarring to think about. 

There was one place where I was setting up my shot when I saw a flicker of movement. I tried to debunk it, analyzing the angle of the window panes where I had witnessed the shift on, but came up with nothing to explain it. If we were weren't alone, that was fine. We also had a flying green insect following us around at one point. I tried to take its picture, but it would take off only to land by us again. Maybe it was our guide and we didn't know it? 

We spent hours there. Appreciating. Imagining. Enjoying. My companion looked at a row of buildings and told me about a story idea. I laughed and said I had thought the same exact thing as we had approached. I took many pictures and left with vivid memories. Not surprisingly, the idea for a story took root a few days later and the setting will be--can you guess? Yes, the place I had just visited. Even though I stayed outside, I let my imagination take over to fill in the rest. I did not want to take any chances by going inside (I did try once, but with the combination of odors, the shock of the frigid air, and my concern not only about weak flooring but also asbestos, made me change my mind). Looking through windows was enough to provide me with the necessary fodder for my sensory details. This story will become my Nanowrimo book which I've already begun outlining.

Inspiration can arise from just about anything or anyplace. Now that I have one urban exploration under my belt, the need to add to this list has increased. Let's see where I wind up next. 
Curtain remains flutter in a summer breeze.

Nature taking over.

Some see a mess, I see possibilities.

I just liked this peek-a-boo angle.

The architecture was great.

Where does this ladder go?

This was such a cool image to capture.

Shot through the key drop on a door.

There is something about windows I find alluring.

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