Friday, July 26, 2013

The Importance Of Ugly Places

When Ranger and I go on our daily walk, we follow a certain route that leads us into the woods behind the local high school. For part of our journey, we hike along a service road that loops around the back side of the school building. It's not the most scenic part of the property; in fact, there is an ugly area that houses oversize exhaust vents and noisy fans, fenced off with nasty mesh fencing and locked with rusty chains. 

Ew. Not my idea of attractive or interesting architecture. In all honesty, I find this area to be not only grungy but downright depressing and I usually avert my eyes as we hurry past. 

Incidentally, I think Ranger shares my sentiments because he doesn't even bother to lift his leg here. For him, that's the ultimate insult. 

Yesterday, as we navigated around this eyesore, I had a new thought. Is it possible, I wondered, that there could be something inside that fencing that is actually interesting? So today, I paused at the locked gates and looked in.

Now, I'm not trying to say these are the most beautiful sights ever to fall upon my eyes. 

But you know, I find them interesting, in a quirky, geometric, industrial chic-kind of way.

And to me, these images are a poignant and timely reminder that even in the dark, depressing places of our world and of our lives, there can be flashes of light, of hope, of happiness, that often go unnoticed. We simply need to take the time to look at what is inside.

Thank you, ugly fenced area, for reminding me of what is good and true. I kinda like you now.


  1. As a photographer, I actually find ugly places to be very cool. :) And especially good for photographing teenagers!

    1. True ugliness exudes authentic character. And I think that might by why it suits teenagers, who hate pretension in all its forms.


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