I’ve been watching the demolition of an old hotel in Claiborne. It looked like a house, more than a hotel, and I once walked up to peek in the windows. The entire place always felt enveloped by emptiness, like something was missing.
Jack Harrald sent me this photo early in the week.
A couple days later, this is all that’s left.
And there’s still an emptiness, some missing parts. With the building there or without the building there, a feeling a human energy erased.
Can human energy be erased?
I don’t think so. I recall occasionally being overcome by feelings of human energy stored up in the land on the estate nearby. An emptiness, sometimes feelings of anger, rage would wash over me at strange times in the barns and outbuildings. And I’d remember that Frederick Douglass was only one of the enslaved people who visited that place. Certainly human energy lives on there.
Like Gettysburg. Have you been there? You can feel even when you’re driving in your car, that you’ve come upon a battlefield. It’s as if it never ended, it goes on.
I wonder about this place, this piece of land, this old home. The fireplace standing tall, one last physical, tangible part – proof that lives were lived here, that people ate, lived, loved, vacationed here. Fights too, probably. Families. How long will the land hold their presence? Only time will tell.
And in the backyard, a quiet version of the same thing.