I’ve been reading through the ‘ghost towns’ thread on Richard Steadman-Jones and Eve Beglarian’s blog, Archive Exile Voices. Eve quotes a very resonant passage from Eudora Welty’s 1944 photo-essay, Some Notes on River Country:
A place that ever was lived in is like a fire that never goes out. It flares up, it smolders for a time, it is fanned or smothered by circumstance, but its being is intact, forever fluttering within it, the result of some original ignition. Sometimes it gives out glory, sometimes its little light must be sought out to be seen, small and tender as a candle flame, but as certain.
I have never seen, in this small section of old Mississippi River country and its little chain of lost towns between Vicksburg and Natchez, anything so mundane as ghosts, but I have felt many times there a sense of place as powerful as if it were visible and walking and could touch me.
It’s Saturday, it’s been a long week, I’m too tired to write. But I’m going to come back to this over the weekend, as I think it raises a number of interesting questions about the kinds of places we’ve been visiting on our recent urban walks.