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Abandoned House in the Black Valley

Abandoned House in the Black Valley

D800-Kerry-3687-2014-10-16This abandoned house in the Black Valley in County Kerry speaks to me powerfully of the tragedy of Irish emigration.

When I first arrived at this scene, I stood and stared at it, overpowered by a profound sense of loss.

I thought about the family who built this house, the pride they must have felt in completing its construction on an imposing hilltop site, the happy years they enjoyed living in their home, the children they brought into and raised in this modest building, the encroaching forces of hunger and hardship that led to their realization that they must abandon the home of which they had once been so proud.

I thought about the family who once walked down this lonely dirt road for the final time, about the last glance they must have cast over their shoulders as they walked away from their home for the last time.

Everything about this lonely, desolate place seemed to encapsulate the pain of leaving one’s home.

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Irv Freedman November 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Truly a beautiful and moving photograph – well done!

    • shaunmoss November 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Thank you, Irv. I have long wanted to visit this lonely place and photograph this iconic cottage, having first seen photos of it about three years ago. I was very happy to get the chance to do so on my trip to Ireland last month. But the feeling this place gave me was certainly not one of happiness. My visit was a very moving experience. I was in the area for three days and visited this remote spot on all three days.

  2. Vickie November 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    This is such a powerful, moving picture, Shaun, and your commentary makes it even more moving. Thanks for sharing it, Vickie

    • shaunmoss November 8, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank you, Vickie. It’s a very moving place to visit: eerily silent and deserted, remote and inaccessible. It possesses a kind of addictive melancholy. Each time I went there, I found it very difficult to leave, especially on the last day.

  3. Irv Freedman November 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    It looks like a black and white photograph of a painting by an old master.

    • shaunmoss November 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

      Is that a good thing or a bad thing, Irv?

      • Irv Freedman November 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

        That’s a good thing. If you go to a museum and photograph any of the paintings of the old masters and then convert go to B&W, you will see the wonderful tonal range that they have used.

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