This is a military aviation boneyard south of Tucson, Arizona, in 2009. I wanted to visit the nearby Evergreen yard for civil airliners, but I couldn’t – thanks to 9/11 the public was barred.
What do I like about the airplanes – civil and military? I like to contemplate the life they’ve had, the people they’ve ferried, the places they’ve seen. I like to think about how they came to be, how they were maintained, and the adventures and near-misses they’ve suffered. I think of them as extensions of ourselves (for truly it is people who breathe life into the machines we build and use). I ponder their newness on construction – a blank slate like a baby – and the bumps and bruises they endure as life proceeds. In this way their existence mirrors our own, ultimately culminating in a demise to weakness and disinterest, and finally retirement, rest, and ‘reunification with the soil’.
They’re a symbol, I suppose. They are representative of our own lives, so I think my contemplations amount to some final moments of respect before they meet their end.