America in Decline-Delaware
By: Paul William Fassett
We start at home, as journey’s often do. No matter how far we have come, or how great a distance we have traveled, life is a circular thing, and at one point or another we always find ourselves back at start. Time there had given me a bitter taste, but the absence of it left me wanting for the flavor.
I found myself back in Stanton, Delaware, a suburb just outside of the city of Wilmington. It’s a place where people live, and do little else. A sleepy little town with plenty of trees to shade from the occasional sun, and plenty of mud to soak up the more than occasional rain. If I said Delaware appeared as a swamp, I doubt many could offer up an argument saying otherwise.
Yet you can find beauty anywhere if you want to, but you have to take the time to look. Maybe nostalgia is tainted by events of past, but time helps you forget wounds, if not heal the scars.
I lived not far from the sight of this eerie looking shack, but never paid it much mind. Most of the summer it was completely overgrown, and the golf course that surrounded it never sought to trim things a bit. There is something neglected and sorrowful about this place that never struck me at first, but after all these years is rather apparent to me now. It represents neglect. It shows me that at one time there was beauty in this place, but that neglect, and hobby has led to its sink into the mired land.
On a back road was an overpass which, if you slowed down, had a railroad running next to a lake. I stopped to walk the trail, and saw these wonderful colors existing in harmony next to one another, as complimentary colors often do. Delaware’s economy is based on many things, but most of all shipping, as most of America’s largest businesses are headquartered in Wilmington. The tracks are the veins in the body leading throughout the state, connecting us with other markets, cultures, accents, and ways of life.
I took a turn to find this.
A place for everything, and everything in its place. The thing that strikes me most about Delaware is the great stretches of lakes, and flowing water that runs through it. As a native, I feel we are both blessed and cursed by it, because no matter how beautiful the sight may be, the reality is different. We do not drink our water. I know that to most, especially those of us who live in California, this is not a shocking statement, but I do not stand alone in the thinking that Delaware has some of the most polluted water in the eastern seaboard. Not a stretch of water in Delaware goes unpolluted by many of the nation’s leading chemical companies, none-the-least Dupont. There’s a lack respect we have for our own water, and it appears we believe it to be trash in, and trash out.
Except the trash flows back into us with some pretty abhorrent results.
Another source of worry in Delaware not only comes from the ground, but also falls down upon us from the air. Our skies are often swollen with rain clouds, but the trails started popping up in the 80s as far as I can remember.
Barn. It’s an old one too, from what I understand dating back a hundred years or more. It still stands in working condition, (save for a roof) and well kept for a place that is no longer used, and doesn’t act as any official Delaware landmark. I lived down the street for years from this thing, and never took a sidelong glance at it until I picked up a camera, and things suddenly began to take on new meaning.
So I mentioned beauty. I believe that works of poetry, and words of elegance strung together as iridescent pearls are beautiful, and to me, there is nothing more beautiful, and tragic as an organism destroying itself out of sloth, or gluttony. Delaware, the first state, is old, and it wears its wrinkles well, but it will wither, and die like everything in life. In its representation of our sloth, indiscretion, and indifference, Delaware is art. And art is beautiful.
About Paul William Fassett-
Seed, squiggly, fetus, light, swaddler, crawler, walker, child, teen, soldier, writer, photographer, this moment, now.
I am an artist, writer, and photographer based out of a place called The Valley. It gets it’s name from being really flat. I travel, I notice things, I document them, and sometimes I distort and make art out of them.
Photographer/Author, Paul William Fassett takes us on a backroads tour of Deleware.