Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Leaning Tower of Luminaria Toppled!

It is ancient.
It is monolithic.
It is decrepit.
It is rusted and weather-beaten and hanging with a tangle of blackberries, hornets, and leggy lightning-colored spiders the size of your palm. It is an apartment complex for outstanding bugs of all sizes and a place where the laws of gravity and centrifugal force are waived.

It is... the Leaning Tower of Luminaria. And today, it finally collapsed.

The monolith of the Luminaria field, a 2-story hand-built barn which stood through an onslaught of weather throughout the years, began succumbing to a series of injuries from snow, ice, and rain after the roof caved in 2 years ago. Over the subsequent months, it began inching into a nearly impossible gravity-defying yoga pose, like a 3 dimensional trapezoid caught mid-dance with a hole punched through the top. While curious and beautiful in its own splintery way, it came up a little short on the "useable space" list, and was dead last on the "child-proof" list. Sadly, something had to be done. We spent the morning harvesting the last of the blackberries from the surrounding vines, assessing the project and the salvageable materials, and checking for critters.

Now, it hunches like a half-beaten hulk giving up its skeleton to the recycling-addicted hands of the Luminarians, who are heading to bed tonight with dreams of chicken coops, raised garden beds, rustic furniture and weathered-wood art dancing in their heads.

Matt (a professional recycling guru), James and Dan volunteered for the demolition and salvage operation, and have already retained 30+ beautiful usable cedar planks, many 2x4s, and hundreds of shakes that will be reborn in new projects.

Not exactly giving up the ghost lightly, Matt and James, according to the Rule of Testosterone, actually brought out a rifle and SHOT the roof off before dragging the second story down with a rope and some serious horsepower this afternoon (this was done for "safety", of course).

With a crash and a long sigh of dust and insects, the old cedar-wood barn is taking the first step in the rest of its life: morphing into a collection of new identities, as every piece of siding, shingle and strut will be reused in creative ways. Look for the spirit of the Leaning Tower of Luminaria to radiate forth in art pieces and garden structures in the coming months.

Throughout the day, we were treated to visits from the flora and fauna of the field. Yellow jackets and praying mantis patrolled the scene. They seemed to be supportive of getting an upgrade in their apartment complex.

Arrivederci, sweet barn. May you rest in pieces.

Photos by the talented Matt Maher and Amber Jade.

1 comment: