Urbex – The Language of Buildings

Q: What language would you love to wake up speaking fluently?

A: The language of buildings.

The other day Stephen and I went to see a potential ‘house to buy’. The place where we are now is wonderful, but it’s a rental (a long term one which has become home), and we’re feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland when she drank that potion which made her too big for the house, arms and legs sticking out of the windows.

Neither of us has ever bought a home before. We’re both gypsies of a modern sort. We like our modern comforts, yet modern comfort’s long term price is one we’re not sure about paying.

We rent because we never know when the urge, impetus, and work-related need, to move on will hit, and for other reasons which are practical to those who live in the world of renting which those who live in the world of buying never quite understand. It’s a different language.

The other day we saw an amazing property, which almost had us signing a cheque to buy it.

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Mill Grinders

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This photograph is of that property. Yum!

However.

The language of this building is one we’ll regret not understanding if we don’t take the time to learn it.

It has a history which doesn’t get bought, but does come at a price.

We’re not quite right for it, even though we love it. It needs someone who will hear it, listen to it, and do something about what they hear and to which they listen.

It’s a building which needs its owners to be fluent in its language.

I don’t think we’re it. But someone else will be, just as its current owners were, who loved it with a passion until that passion died down. It told them that they needed to pass the mantle on. Not to us, I don’t think. If only we were not who we are, but someone else. We’re not.

One of the languages I’d like to learn, especially now while house-hunting, is that of buildings. They’ve seen a lot, heard more, know much about who should and who should not be living in them. And what happens when you live there.

Urban Exploration is a big thing in photography. I often see the most amazing photos of wrecks of abodes past, left to the elements, captured by those who venture there yet don’t live there and probably wouldn’t do so if they could.

Finding the right place for you is as much about finding the place which knows you’re right for it.

I wish I could understand the language of buildings, they have a lot to say, much wisdom to pass on.

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“What we want most is to be held…and told..that everything (everything is a funny thing, is baby milk and papa’s eyes, is roaring logs on a cold morning, is hoot owls and the boy who makes you cry after school, is mama’s long hair, is being afraid and twisted faces on the bedroom wall)…is going to be alright.”
― Truman Capote