From 1978 to 1981, I lived in an abandoned neighborhood in the Zuoying District of Koahsiung, Taiwan. It was here that I had my most solid early childhood memories. We lived on the one street that had residents, our yards manicured, perennial flowers intentionally planted, houses well maintained, while the rest of the neighborhood was in a beautiful disarray as the natural world overtook the very built environment that once sought to tame it.
I always loved the abandoned streets in my neighborhood. It felt like a Leonard Cohen song being sung for Mother Nature. There, trees grew wildly forming a canopy that covered entire streets, sidewalks and home foundations were cracked, disrupted by tree roots, where vines and weeds emerged, headed towards the filtered rays of sunlight.
Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
— Leonard Cohen