the photoshooter's journey from taking to making

THE ROMANCE OF RUIN

The Honeymoon is, indeed, over.

The honeymoon is, indeed, over.

By MICHAEL PERKINS

I TYPICALLY SHY AWAY FROM USING OR CREATING PHOTOGRAPHS as illustrations of work in another medium. Writers don’t try to caption my images, and I don’t presume, for the most part, to imagine visuals for their works. As both photographer and writer, I am sympathetic to the needs and limits of both graphic and written mediums. And still, there are rare times when a combination of events seem to imply a collaboration of sorts between the two means of storytelling. I made such an attempt a while back in these pages, in the grip of nostalgia for railroads, and so here goes with another similar experiment.

DSC_1568Last week, during a blue mood, I sought out, as I often do, songs by Sinatra, since only Frank does lonely as if he invented the concept, conveying loss with an actor’s gift for universality. I stumbled across a particularly poignant track entitled A Cottage For Sale, which I sometimes can’t listen to, even when I need its quiet, desolate description of a dream gone wrong. So, that song was the first seed in my head.

Seed two came a few days later, when I was shortcutting through one of those strange Phoenix streets where suburban and rural neighborhoods collide with each other, blurring the track of time and making the everyday unreal. I saw the house you see here, a place so soaked in despair that it seemed to cry out for the lyrics of Frank’s song. Again, I’m not trying to provide the illustration for the song, just one man’s variation. So, for what it’s worth:

 

Our little dream castle with every dream gone,                                     
Is lonely and silent, the shades are all drawn,
And my heart is heavy as I gaze upon
A cottage for sale
The lawn we were proud of is waving in hay,
Our beautiful garden has withered away,
Where you planted roses,the weeds seem to say,
“A cottage for sale”.
From every single window, I see your face,
But when I reach a window, there’s empty space.
The key’s in the mail box, the same as before,
But no one is waiting for me any more,
The end of the story is told on the door.
A cottage for sale.  
From A Cottage For Sale, Music by Willard Robison, Lyrics by Larry Conley

 

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