“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
― Worstward Ho
On my way home from a Dallas Photo Walk in Deep Ellum I wanted to take some pictures of the internet-famous Leaning Tower of Dallas. In case you haven’t seen this on your news – they attempted to implode a fourteen story office building but the elevator shaft stayed mostly upright.
It has become a temporary icon here in Big D. The traffic was snarled and I had to park several blocks away as all the close spaces were taken. There was a big crowd in the field next to the tilted concrete tower – many folks contorting themselves in front of phone-wielding friends, trying for that perfect selfie – appearing to hold up the leaning tower.
I walked as close as I could, and settled for a finger-selfie.
Leaning Tower of Dallas, Dallas, Texas
At last, one proper Sherlock Holmes London evening, the unmistakable smell of gas came to Pirate from a dark street lamp, and out of the fog ahead materialized a giant, organlike form. Carefully, black-shod step by step, Pirate approached the thing. It began to slide forward to meet him, over the cobblestones slow as a snail, leaving behind some slime brightness of street-wake that could not have been from fog. In the space between them was a crossover point, which Pirate, being a bit faster, reached first. He reeled back, in horror, back past the point – but such recognitions are not reversible. It was a giant Adenoid. At least as big as St. Paul’s, and growing hour by hour. London, perhaps all England, was in mortal peril!
—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
Bank of America Plaza, Dallas, Texas
I moved across the cold, wet, foggy city after work. Tired, yet glad the workday was done and I had someplace to go, even if it was only a weekly bookstore discussion of the giant, confusing tome, Gravity’s Rainbow. As I walked from train to streetcar at the midpoint of my journey I looked up at the fog-shrouded tower and thanked the moment of beauty.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
The view from the parking lot as I go home from work. Dallas, Texas
Clouds, sky, and steel. There are things of man and things of nature. Sometimes there is beauty in both.
“This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night the owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
Waggoner Mansion in Decatur, Texas
There is an abandoned palace in Decatur, Texas – The Waggoner Mansion, also called El Castile, is a sixteen room mansion built in 1883 by the Waggoner Family. The Reata Ranch House in the movie “Giant” is inspired by this building.
But now it stands, abandoned and rotting… and beautiful still.
“In the squares and in the streets we are placing our work convinced that art must not remain a sanctuary for the idle, a consolation for the weary, and a justification for the lazy. Art should attend us everywhere that life flows and acts.”
2001, Painted Yellow Steel
A well-placed large sculpture by John Henry. I like the title – I’ve always been a fan of Tatlin’s Tower – someone should build one of those – a real big-ass version.