the wasteland

I took this photo at the convention place station along the metro line in downtown Seattle. That is a giant green stain on a concrete barricade. The stain is the result of dirty pipe water running down the concrete on rainy days. As you can imagine those must be some damn dirty pipes. I think this awful stain is shaped rather like a tree, like a Christmas tree. But it is pretty repulsive, the way the water mixed with god knows what has eroded, stained, and molded the concrete, carving caverns in its surface.

Staring at this stain led my mind to “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot and the idea of the human stain left behind after we’ve come and gone. Even after human civilization has fallen, once Eliot’s hopeless future becomes a reality there still remains our stain upon the earth. The corpse in the garden, the slimy-bellied rat, the naked white bodies, all remnants we leave behind. Like this green stain, when the buses stop running, long after the engines have cooled, this damn green stain remains. I guess its true, no matter where we go or what we do, we always find a way to leave our mark.

“This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.” -T.S. Eliot

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2 comments on “the wasteland”

  1. are you sure that’s stain and not super tiny moss? a lot of buildings in manila are covered by what i used to think were stain also. But one nerdy day plus some magnifying lens, i concluded they were super tiny moss.

    • Hey thanks for commenting, its right under where the pipe lets water out. Its definitely moss but its also definitely a stain. A stain is more than a dirty smudge its a mark, something left behind, something created by waste.


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