A decaying boathouse on Blounts Creek stands between bright fall foliage rising above and reflected below.
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Beaufort County, NC
Blounts Creek enters the Pamlico River as it widens, about 23 miles from the Pamlico Sound. Ocracoke Inlet and the Outer Banks lie another 33 miles beyond that. The people of Blounts Creek have always been as much fishermen as farmers. The banks of the creek are embedded with old pilings like dead trees.
This is almost too large to be called a boathouse, large enough to berth a commercial vessel. I don’t imagine anyone went to such expense to store a few runabouts.
Whatever its original purpose, it seems to serve no purpose at all now. The corrugated tin roof has been peeled back in places and siding is missing. The gangway to the boathouse is weathered and grey and a piling supporting the pier looks like a broken tooth.
The Japanese have an aesthetic, wabi-sabi, a view of the world founded on the inevitability of transience and imperfection. It’s an appreciation of flawed beauty, beauty that must inevitably rot or rust, like a flower past its bloom.
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