A Map of the Past

peeling paint on chair looks like map
A Map of the Past

In all the blossoming beauty of spring is this map of the past, layers of paint peeling off an old wooden chair. Peeling layers of paint in different colors always looked like an old-fashioned classroom map. But each layer of paint, the type, the color, even how thickly it’s applied, and the wood of the chair itself, are layers of history, of the products of the time, the raw wood that was available, the colors in fashion, the people who decorated those chairs for their homes.

I collect old chairs on trash pickup night, bring them home and if I don’t have a use for them I move them out to my yard to serve as places to display plants and other garden items. They slowly degrade and lose integrity. I layer the pieces at the bottom of the compost so they break down and become part of the soil in which the trees grew. I’ll scrape off the large loose pieces of chipping paint and dispose of that since most of it is likely very old lead-based paint. But better going to pieces and reentering the future as a useful substance than eternity in a landfill.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, visit my galleries of Photography on Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “Custom Prints” for availability and terms. I'll be more than happy to make a print for you.

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