A lot of the time the halls of my building really are this empty. Professors are in their offices with doors closed while they silently pore over texts. But these shots are mostly after hours, so it looks extra quiet. My building whispers: English Literature, writing, scholarship. To me - heaven. In theory, at least! As I tell dear DS, I am a very literary person for someone who hardly reads. At the end of the day, this time of year, the evening light slants in across the hall from the grad student lounge, from the open stretch of trees leading to the bell tower, where my favorite beech tree stands. This is the part of campus that looks like a quintessential university.
Sadly, the 110 years this building has existed may be its life span, since it will be demolished in the next couple of years. It doesn't have enough structural integrity to withstand refurbishment, and things have begun to fall apart, as you can see. I'm pretty sure in the new addition across campus where they'll move us I won't have a big office with a high ceiling and wide oak trim on the doors as I do now. So I'm enjoying every moment I work in this space. I do look forward to being close to the river when we move, but I will miss this hall. Most of us in my department - professors and students alike - love this old building. But some can't wait to be rid of it, poor thing.
I get too attached to certain old things. I never want to see them go, even when they're decrepit. There are lots of cracked, chipped, broken and threadbare items in our possession that should probably be tossed. Like this chair that belonged to my mother and her step-mother before her. I don't want to re-cover it or get a new slipcover made. It's not just that I don't want to worry about ruining something brand new. I really like it aesthetically. When a thing is beautiful to start with, made of fibers, wood or ceramics that are well crafted, it becomes more beautiful as it ages. Some things look bad even when they're new, like blue plastic tarps. But I guess beauty is as they say in the eye of the beholder. And if I had just lived through an earthquake, watching my house crumble into rubble, a blue plastic tarp as the sky begins to open up in a shower would be a beautiful sight.