It is as if we had stepped into a ruin and were startled by a flight of birds that rose as we entered. The familiar experience is made unfamiliar and from that time on, whenever we think of that particular scene, we remember how we held our breath and how the hungry doves of another world rose out of nothingness and whistled away. We stand looking at a remembered habitation. All old dwelling places are subject to these transmogrifications and the experience of all of us includes a succession of old dwelling places, abodes of the imagination, ancestral or memories of places that never existed.
Wallace Stevens: from Two or Three Ideas, a lecture on Baudelaire's La Vie Anterieure, given at Mt. Holyoke College, April 28, 1951 (in Collected Poetry and Prose, 1997)
Storm clouds over Bodie ghost town, California: photo by Photographersnature, 2009
Mask found in window of Bodie, California ghost town school house: photo by Tahoenathan, 2009