Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

“If you roughly distinguish between nature and civilization, decay could be seen as nature (re-)claiming its reign. I am always delighted with finding traces of ‘the tooth of time’ in an urban setting (or on an abandoned army airfield) because they follow laws and principles which are alien to ours.”

Tobias M. Schiel’s photography blog, Empire of Light

At any rate, the briefest glance at the crumbling walls of San Miguel de Allende reveals the “tooth of time” to be an instrument of great beauty. I kept photographing the walls, and the doors, and the sidewalks compulsively, and made those photos into a book (on my MAC, of course) and called it Fragmentos. An alien principle? Perhaps; but so very beautiful — Here is just one example:

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27 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

  1. Stef says:

    Reclamation is a wonderful concept; it really makes me think of “decay” in a whole new way…

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Hmmmm — What’s in a word?
      Despite Shakespeare, maybe quite a lot! Redefining, revisioning —
      You do that a lot, Stef.
      (Could also say shaking things up, turning them inside out, turning them upside down, and now — reclaiming them)

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    I do agree. Last week, just before the textured challenge came up, I put up a couple of posts featuring bits of garden walls. I called them vertical archaeology, but the tooth of time is much more evocative!

    • Touch2Touch says:

      I like “vertical archaeology” a lot, Isobel.
      The tooth of time is a terrific image. I took it from Tobias’s blog post (Empire of Lights) and googled to see where he might have got it from if it wasn’t his own. I think he may have adapted it from Thomas Huxley’s quote:
      Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth.
      (Note: remember to ask Tobias about this!)

  3. Pauline says:

    J – have you read The World Without Us by Alan Weisman? Made for some interesting reflection. I’ve been scraped by the teeth of time but I don’t look as good as that wall. I am always impressed by how time creates art all its own out of what it comes across.

    • Touch2Touch says:

      I haven’t, Pauline. I’ll amazon (and google) it; I’m assuming you think it’s impressive —

      What a thought, scraped by the teeth of time. Well, we all have been, haven’t we? I, for one, am not nearly as colorful!

      • Stef says:

        Given what little I know about both of you, I think you ladies are selling yourselves MUCH too short!

      • Touch2Touch says:

        The view changes, Stef —
        I’m sure Pauline joins me in adding both of our voices to the chorines of Follies in a rousing chorus of, We’re Still Here!
        (And that’s not bad, kiddo 😉

  4. Pauline says:

    Stef, not so much a case of selling myself short as it is a frank look at what time and temper (and gravity) have wrought. I’m not bemoaning the fact that time has gnawed at my vitals, just acknowledging that old things can still be beautiful in a wholly new and different way 🙂

    • Stef says:

      Well – I like this response better, but I would assert that time, temper, and gravity have also added a variety of additional layers to what originally existed – and the ‘extra’ stuff is what gives interest, and depth…in my book, “old” is an adjective to describe items, not humans. 😉

      • Touch2Touch says:

        Over to you, Pauline?

      • Pauline says:

        Well now, I don’t think of myself strictly in terms of old or young, mostly because I feel one way and look the other. There’s no denying that as one ages, one’s physical self loses what might be termed the beauty of youth and instead takes on the look of something venerable. I agree that there’s more to beauty than what shows on the surface; I also maintain that when the teeth of time have gnawed on you awhile you tend to look a little chewed around the edges. It depends of course on your definition and perception of beauty, and what you’re willing to see when you look at someone or something (or yourself). By my lights there are parts of me that I would call beautiful and they’ve come with age – the depth of my caring, for instance, or the slow building of my talent with words or pen and ink. By no stretch of the imagination would you call my thinning hair beautiful or my sagging flesh. It strikes me as ironic that as a young woman I did not think of myself as attractive and yet photos of me in my teens and early 20s show a lovely young woman. At 66, I don’t see myself as attractive but show me a photo taken of me now when I’m 88 and I may beg to differ.

      • Touch2Touch says:

        A little chewed around the edges — LOVE IT!
        We have that in common, I’m delighted (and touched) to discover: I also never thought I was attractive when I was young, and now looking at old photos, I am amazed. An amazing phenomenon, that.
        I think we need to expand our vocabularies — for example, the Japanese revere patina on things, they are not so much for the new and shiny.
        So, Pauline — we too now have fine patinas!!!!!!!!

        My note to Stef: ours is a society big on euphemisms, Senior Citizens, Otherly Abled —
        At this point in my life, I say I’m OLD, and I’m proud of it. Phooey on what people vision as old, this — feeling vital and alive and often mellow and certainly experienced and not bothering about what people think of my looks or anything much else — feeling free, and did I say vital? Yep —
        THIS is what old is, so far as I’m concerned, and I’m proud of it.
        (Of course it comes with a lot of aches and pains and fallings-away: as Bette Davis (?) said, Old age is not for wimps. But that’s part of it – Courage. Not so bad, huh?)

      • Stef says:

        You two ladies are so incredibly witty, wordy, and above all – WISE. I love it. I love that you take the time to share with me, and I love that you are honest, experienced, and humorous all at the same time. Thank you both!

      • Touch2Touch says:

        Stef, we three are obviously a trio of Graces —
        You, young one, are pretty splendid already. Just imagine how gorgeously the patina of additional years will become you!

  5. Pauline says:

    J – the book is at once alarming and reassuring, alarming in the scope of the awfulness we humans have created and reassuring in that the earth will probably recover given enough time. Not sure I can say it’s as well written as it might have been, given that it is rather on the high end of the “appeal to the masses” rather than “scholarly tome” scale.

  6. 2e0mca says:

    I have some shots of similar decay from buildings in Tenerife. It’s always a fascinating effect – that’s a very nice shade of orange on the wall in your photo.

  7. pix & kardz says:

    very cool. impressive. evocative.
    thanks for sharing.

  8. Alison says:

    Gorgeous colors and a great interpretation of the theme. I like the abstraction of the angle so that it almost becomes disorienting to figure out the angle you’re looking at the wall.

  9. Meg says:

    I believe this all started out about texture … and although I’m late I wanted to share this photo which reeks with texture … when I first saw it I wanted to reach out and touch every variety of stone pictured … and rushing water, and still water, and every shade of green must feel different, and that brown earth is crumbly, no?


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Meg — no sell-by dates, so far as I know!
      Panoramic photo by her climber son John, which has to be clicked on to be full size to get the full effect of all the textured details —

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