Drosscapes: Ruins of Memory

"That nothing lasts forever is perhaps our favorite thing to forget. And forgetting is the ruin of memory, its collapse, decay, shattering, and eventual fading away into nothingness. We don’t quite recognize how resilient cities are, how they arise over and over again from their own ruins, resurrected, reincarnated, though every Rome and London is such a resurrection, or reinvention … Ruins are evidence not only that cities can be destroyed but that they survive their own destruction, are resurrected again and again.

Ruins stand as reminders. Memory is always incomplete, always imperfect, always falling into ruin; but the ruins themselves, like other traces, are treasures: our links to what came before, our guide to situating ourselves in a landscape of time. To erase the ruins is to erase the visible public triggers of memory; a city without ruins and traces of age is like a mind without memories. Such erasure is the foundation of the amnesiac landscape that is the United States." 

–Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics. Rebecca Solnit. 2006. Essay "The Ruins of Memory".