This is a blog entry I wrote back in early August — it expresses well my view of this place I call home. After reading, I hope you’ll leave a comment!
Its been a while since i posted new photos. I’ve been a little discouraged lately — spending too much time trying to edit images I’ve already taken, and frustrated by how much I still don’t know…
So this morning I left my computer behind, grabbed my camera, and headed out the door to this abandoned lot — backdropped by the freeway, and filled with wild sunflowers.
This lot fascinates me — it’s a place full of contradictions. It sits between the freeway and our still-mostly-new Gateway Town Center. Someday it’s slated to be the expansion of that complex, housing more economic development. In the meantime it’s “empty”, but overrun with lots of CA type vegetation, tons of “wild life”, (I saw more squirrels running around today then in all my years in Compton — I tried to ignore all the other sounds rustling around in the bush!), and a good amount of trash.
It’s a site marked by desolation and waste… but also full of beauty and potential. It symbolizes somebody’s busted up dreams from the past, but someone else’s hopes for the future. It’s the glory of nature and the Divine backed up against the urban landscape. A person will see it the way they choose to.
I’m especially drawn by the wildflowers. I’ve watched them for a year now. Last summer they delighted me — as fall and winter came, they withered and faded. Spring brought them back in full force, more plentiful then before.. They have flourished in an unlikely place — birthed on top of concrete beside a freeway, but striving toward the sun. In spite of all the forces that would assume the contrary — they have been unconquerable. Where it’s least expected, they are thriving.
Shooting these photos today was so good for me — it reminded me that I don’t shoot pictures because I’m an amazing photographer or adept at Photoshop. I take pictures because I love my city, and I want to show it off to the world. It’s a place full of contradictions, marked by desolation and beauty, bordered against the freeways and backdropped by the Divine. People will see it the way they choose to, but it will thrive in spite of all expectations to the contrary.
Tell me, how do YOU see Compton?