Ann Kipling
Pascal Grandmaison
Kelly Richardson
Phyllida Barlow

From “Pleasure of Ruins,” Dame Rose Macaulay, 1953

VII 
A NOTE ON NEW RUINS 

NEW ruins have not yet acquired the weathered patina of age, 
the true rust of the barons 5 wars, not yet put on their ivy, nor 
equipped themselves with the appropriate bestiary of lizards, bats, 
screech-owls, serpents, speckled toads and little foxes which, as 
has been so frequently observed by ruin-explorers, hold high revel 
in the precincts of old ruins (such revelling, though noted with 
pleasure, is seldom described in detail; possibly the jackal waltzes 
with the toad, the lizard with the fox, while the screech-owl 
supplies the music and they all glory and drink deep among the 
tumbled capitals). But new ruins are for a time stark and bare, 
vegetationless and creatureless; blackened and torn, they smell 
of fire and mortality. 

It will not be for long. Very soon trees will be thrusting through 
the empty window sockets, the rose-bay and fennel blossoming 
within the broken walls, the brambles tangling outside them. 
Very soon the ruin will be enjungled, engulfed, and the appro- 
priate creatures will revel. Even ruins in city streets will, if they 
are let alone, come, soon or late, to the same fate. Month by 
month it grows harder to trace the streets around them; here, we 
see, is the kne of tangled briars that was a street of warehouses; 
there, in those jungled caverns, stood the large tailor's shop; 
where those grassy paths cross, a board swings, bearing the name 
of a tavern. We stumble among stone foundations and fragments 
of cellar walls, among the ghosts of the exiled merchants and 
publicans who there carried on their gainful trades. Shells of 
churches gape emptily; over broken altars the small yellow 
dandelions make their pattern. All this will presently be; but at 
first there is only the ruin; a mass of torn, charred prayer books 
strew the stone floor; the statues, tumbled from their niches, have 
broken in pieces; rafters and rubble pile knee-deep. But often the 
ruin has put on, in its catastrophic tipsy chaos, a bizarre new charm* What was last week a drab little house has become a steep flight of stairs winding up in the open between gaily-coloured walls, tiled lavatories, interiors bright and intimate like a Dutch picture or a stage set; the stairway climbs up and up, undaunted, to the roofless summit where it meets the sky. The house has put on melodrama; people stop to stare; here is a domestic scene wide open for all to enjoy. To-morrow or to-night, the gazers feel, their own dwelling may be even as this. Last night the house was scenic; flames leaping to the sky; to-day it is squalid and morne, but out of its dereliction it flaunts the flags of what is left.
"Don’t be afraid of the dark. It’s the part in between all the light."
Arlene Bishop
"Light gray, soft, and slippery, w very wide rules of dotted blue"
David Foster Wallace
"Unconsciously, everyone under the age of 10 knows everything. Under-ten can come into a room and sense at once everything felt, kept silent, held back in the way of love, hate and desire, though he may not have the right words for such sentiments. It is part of the clairvoyant immunity to hypocrisy we are born with and that vanishes just before puberty."
Mavis Gallant
"

the deep forest is also called ‘the quiet earth,’ because of its immense silence curdled in thirty leagues of green

re Shohola Nights

"
quote of Pierre Guéguen in Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space
"

What is more beautiful than night
and someone in your arms
that’s what we love about art
it seems to prefer us and stays

if the moon or a gasping candle
sheds a little light or even dark
you become a landscape in a landscape
with rocks and craggy mountains

and valleys full of sweaty ferns
breathing and lifting into the clouds
which have actually come low
as a blanket of aspirations’ blue

for once not a melancholy color
because it is looking back at us
there’s no need for vistas we are one
in a complicated foreground of space

the architects are most courageous
because it stands for all to see
and for a long long time just as
the words “I’ll always love you”

impulsively appear in the dark sky
and we are happy and stick by them
like a couple of painters in neon allowing
the light to glow there over the river

"
To You - Frank O’Hara