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Day 151: Locked Sanctuaries

We have sanctuaries inside of us, build of strong bricks with a lock made out of insurmountable steel. These buildings are vast and grand, built like a fortress with the intent on lasting for ages to come. Nothing can hardly get in and that which does we intend to keep there.

The keys to this sanctuary are in our hands and we have locked it so well, it is nearly impossible to get in ourselves. However, upon occasion we slip through the doors and into the dusty interior that hardly ever sees the light of day. This is when we desire to place something within those brick walls. Something heavy and uncomfortable to bear that causes us large amounts of pain.

Inside are dusty rows of moments from our past. From our history. They are the ones that hurt the most and weigh heavily on our chest like no other. When remembering such moments we are filled with nothing but pain, regret, and discomfort. Over the years we have collected these moments and shoved them inside our inner hiding place. We place them in the darkness, into a place we hope they will never return from.

You know exactly which moments these are. They are the time in our lives we would much rather forget ever happened and find a way to erase them from our past. That is the main reason we tuck them into our sanctuary, to forget about them amidst the darkness and dust. These moments hang heavy in our chest and can be so terribly painful to remember. So they are slid into through the doors and locked away with a bolt of steel. Dust gathers and for a while we feel safe from the pain of our past, but the weight is increased with each moment we add until it is so hard to ignore it.

The moments from our past that we would rather forget become a dark pit inside of us, pulling against the very walls we have built up. They grow and fester, working their way through the cracks. Like an invalid begging for release, these moments drag on us begging for our attention. For the truth is that this sanctuary we have built to keep ourselves safe from the past is a deadly, deadly trap.

The sanctuary inside of us is a decaying, rotting hole in our mental landscapes. It is not providing protection or safety, it will become our ruin if we do not turn our attention towards it. For the moments have tangled their way through our mind, down to the very root of who we are. We try to forget, when in reality these repressed memories effect us more than we ever could have imagined from their prison.

Our desire is to remove these moments from our past, yet no matter how hard we try we will never be able to undo what has already happened. No matter how hard we strive we will never be able to forget. That is the way life works. The only way to heal from the pain of the past is to let go.

Unlock those bolted doors, throw them open and let the moments out of their confinement. Repressing the past will not change anything, we must allow ourselves the time to come to terms with all that which has happened. We cannot do that when those moments are locked with our sanctuaries. We must learn to let go and to remember. For we can never truly forget, but rest assured with the knowledge that when we let go and heal the past will no longer hold itself over our heads. It may take time, but it will be so worth it in the end.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this image. It was so much fun to create on a rather chilly morning in the heart of rush hour as the sun slowly rose behind thick gray clouds. Yet the magic was not created in Photoshop, even though it did help, the magic was made upon discovering this beautiful building. If it were not for this abandoned church, I would never have been able to create one of my favorite images. And no matter what happens to it in the future this image will live on.

That is why I have begun my Fragments of Decay photo series, to capture and preserve buildings that have been forgotten by all but a few. I wish to capture as many as possible so that when their fate calls to them, they will not be lost completely. The beauty in their decay will be preserved for the rest of time in a story that captures what might have been in their vibrant past.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

“Sanctuary”
The brilliant red doors are sealed with a solidity that is insurmountable, keeping all that is within hidden from the rest of the world. Yet the cracks have been found and the vines creep through and surge across the surface, pulling down the walls that seemed so safe to begin with. That which was hidden cannot be hidden forever.

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