Someone suggested that I walk slower through gardens, buildings, and cityscapes, for then I'd then be able to feel and hear the ghosts of days gone by, a little bit of "If these walls could talk." I have taken the suggestion and slowed my pace considerably although some of my friends might say that my age and titanium joints have done the slowing. "Fah!" I say. As I walk about I try to imagine what the makers were thinking as they built in then completed the place. Were they proud of what they'd done? The people who lived in or cared for the place...was it just a duty or was there perhaps an emotional commitment? Why is the place abandoned or why is the condition superb after all the use and years? I don't think I hear their voices but I do think I give voice to what they left behind.
Yesterday I went to Maymont in Richmond. I've only seen a small bit of the place and look forward to going back. My walkabout included only the Italian and Japanese Gardens. I tried to imagine the family that had lived there a hundred years ago. And then I tried to imagine the people that designed and built the gardens in the 1890s. What do you suppose they were trying to provide? Sanctuary? Post-war peace? Transformation to another land? People build things and those things remain as their legacy, if they'd written down how they FELT about doing what they were doing, we'd better understand why they did what they did. On the other hand, then their ghosts wouldn't talk with me on my walkabouts.