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  • Phyllis H. Moore

Here's To Imagining New Things

Every year for the past few years, my resolution has been not to try to explain myself. At first, it was a joke, but now, I'm serious, mostly because there is no explanation. However, this year I will not try to explain myself and I will organize my Pinterest pins into a more logical system of Boards.

If you PIN, you know what I mean. There is a reason it has gotten out of hand. At first, I just pinned recipes, home decor ideas, DIY projects and gardening ideas, but then I discovered some people are as weird as I am. These people like looking at abandoned places. I learned this because the picture that gets the most repins on my boards by 88 percent is the porch of an abandoned house,

I started looking at old houses on Pinterest when I was looking for images for the Dunn House in my novel, Sabine. I wanted a run down image, because the characters renovate the deterioration as they are examining the needed evolution of their own lives. The house became a symbol of everything that was wrong and needed cleansing. So, I pinned these images, but then I started getting the emails of repins. This could be a science fair project for someone. I have some ideas about why we are drawn to these images, but no scientific proof. Everytime there is a ping and I look at my email, someone is repinning from my Spooky House Board. I am renaming the Board also, because it is no longer just houses. I recently pinned a ferris wheel overgrown with ivy. It is an engaging image. You can almost hear the laughter from years ago and wonder about each person sitting in those metal carriages, glancing around from the top of the wheel. Eery.

After much thought, I have come up with some reasons we are drawn to symbols of abandonment. These are my opinions, based on nothing. I won't try to explain myself:

l. Like the ferris wheel, we imagine what the place was like back in the day and relive what it would be to experience the scene in times past.

2. It's possible, we imagine what we could do with such a place, a little paint here, some new fixtures, that rug I saw at Marshall's. The possibilities of rebirth appeal to us, and we reimagine a new beginning.

3. Maybe if we just cleaned it up, we could sit on the porch, walk the halls, bring in some chairs, and just enjoy the deterioration. It might be fun to stage a dinner party in the decay, light candles and serve a catered meal for our closest friends. Imagine the conversations in the candlelight and quiet, (sigh).

4. It could be fun to hide and scare someone who wandered. Well, that's not very nice, but it could be fun. I just don't want to be the wanderer. I would probably need the Depends and I have seen the price of those things. Never mind, scratch #4.

5. I put the people in the setting. In my mind I make the characters who could inhabit such a place. My little dog tells me I usually get this wrong. My imagination is more dramatic than the reality. I invented a story about why he ended up at the pet shelter. It was abusive and sad, but he later told me his first family had a Chihuahua. Ollie Bubba doesn't like Chihuahuas, so he opened the door and left. He pointed out the interesting part of that story is that he can open doors. Okay, I was wrong, again. I used Ollie's photo for this blog because he keeps me humble.

6. The people in those places probably did have animals, dogs, cats, some chickens, maybe a peacock. On the back screened porch, there was a cage with parakeets. There was other life there, even hidden in the cracks and floor boards. The mice are probably descendants of the original famly of mice. They survived, still hidden there. The nonhuman life has a tale to tell, a story with all the secrets of all the life before there.

7. Possibly, the souls that were there before revisit. They draw us in, giving us glimpses and whispers that we cannot explain. Maybe they made resolutions not to explain, but just be.

I suppose each reader and observer has ideas about these things. This could be a project. If you want, contact me and let me know your ideas. I will compose. We don't have to explain ourselves, just imagine.

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