Paradise Lost~


Bombay City on The Salton Sea,

a graveyard for ships that will not sail,

and houses with no one home.

People live here and create art out of trash,

“Scrap was here!” (Click to enlarge and see.)

And this artist thinks we should, “Take the Day Off.” (I agree with him/her.)

This artist made a tree out of trash,

while boats still point, “Straight on til’ morning!”

Hopefully if the sea can be repaired,

Bombay City can be too.

Hope & Cheers to the people in Bombay City who make art and order out of chaos~

Note: I was surprised to see an in-depth story on the history and crisis in The Salton Sea, in ‘The Daily Mail’ a few days ago. Check it out if your are interested in this sad story, which is, of course, all of our stories:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5839677/A-ghost-town-making-Salton-Sea-went-busy-resorts-public-health-disaster.html

210 thoughts on “Paradise Lost~

    • I wonder the same thing. At least they can restore the wetlands for the birds and control the chemical dust for the people. They need to flood it as the saline levels are rising, and I have no idea where they will get the water, in a state beset by drought. I will watch what $610 million dollars will do….This is the amount allotted to ameliorate this human made disaster, by various measures. Hopefully the people given the money won’t just go to meetings to discuss the problems, which is what “problem solvers,” so often do with government money.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. It has been like this post apocalyptic wasteland for the decades I have visited it. And yet, exotic birds by the million shelter here, and remarkable people live here. It has always fascinated me. It is the place no one goes to, so of course, I have always gone. Even in mid-summer. I am interested in everything people pretend is not happening. And this bit of denial is gob-smacking.

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  1. Grossartige Bilder und Kunstwerke aus diesem verlorenen Paradies in Bombay. Es ist erstaunlich, wie viel Kraft und Lebensmut diese armen, ausgestossenen Bewohner dieses Ortes aufbringen, um zu überleben.
    Sie haben nichts und geben dir noch ihren letzten Bissen oder ihr letztes Hemd! Ich weiss, wovon ich spreche, war ich doch 1965 in Indien und Nepal unterwegs.

    Vielen Dank Cindy fürs zeigen. Toll! Ernst

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ich weiß, dass du weißt. Das ist es, was ich an dir so sehr bewundere. Und es ist so sehr oft wahr, dass mehr Ausgestoßene, desto armseliger eine Person ist, desto freundlicher und großzügiger sind sie. Ich habe das in dreißig Jahren immer wieder als klinischer Sozialarbeiter gesehen. Ich bin an einem wohlhabenden Ort aufgewachsen, und diese Menschen würden niemals so freundlich sein. Hier ist eine ernsthafte Lektion zu lernen, die viele Menschen erst lernen werden, wenn es zu spät ist. Danke für das Wissen und für die Pflege meines Freundes. Und bitte vergib mir mein schreckliches Deutsch.

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  2. How did your throat feel as you were walking around? The article makes it sound like a dangerous place to visit with all that toxic dust, yet your photos have a tranquil beauty to them. Feel sad for the birds and fish that live there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I come and spend a few days here several times a year, and have done so since I was young. It has always been a bleak and beautiful place. It has taken a long time for me to articulate what draws me here, the birds of course, by the millions in winter, but the people too draw me in. I always feel like these outcasts from mainstream society are smarter than I, in some important and fundamental way. I admire their courage, their artistry, their iconoclasm. But the poverty, the effect on the children, and the neglect of society towards all of this, contains within it everything I feel is wrong with human beings and our behavior towards each other, the planet, and all living creatures. I visit a couple days a year. The children live and grow here.

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  3. Amazing and fascinating – thanks so much for showcasing this unusual and thought-provoking art space. “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting story Cindy and a microcosm of the toxic mess created by farmers’ use of pesticides. It looks a very unhealthy environment to visit, let alone live. These people need clean air to breathe, free from toxic dust 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the world “natural” in quotes. This whole terrible scenario is what humans do, when we don’t take responsibility for our actions. It just continues on and on, like ever falling dominoes.

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  5. this is truly terrible. It is so sad to read the article, just unbelievable what was a thriving area,is now so abandoned, toxic and terrible. Truly hope that they can do something about it. Also hope they learn from it and be more careful with what they are doing and where. ( Same really with the oceans and the waste) We only learn too late. :-(…It should have never come to that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “We only learn too late,” and “It should have never come to that.”
      You are so right on both points, and so many of us have still not learned, and unfortunately many of these unlearned folks are sitting in the positions of power.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this, Cindy. It’s so important to talk about the places of struggle in the world. I don’t know what we can necessarily do about it but the art work is also a reminder that people can find joy and happiness in very adverse and difficult conditions. Your photography as always was stunning and I particularly love the one where the wooden ribs of the dead ship are decaying into the sand.It is so poignant!
    xx Rowena

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  7. Hey Cindy, Namaste 🙂

    How grand the sand when artfully adorned,
    How pleasing to the unsuspecting eye,
    For who would know from Salton’s shadow,
    Such impressive structures were formed.
    ~
    This scape, this space, this wilderness place,
    Once hustled and bustled with life: but yet,
    Now strives to stay alive, to breathe beneath the sun:
    Dry-eyed is this gallery mourning what is gone.
    ~
    Azure blue of deepest hue abundant in the sky,
    Reflects upon a land laying stagnant, bone-dry.
    She sighs remembering lush fertile plains,
    Finds hope she’ll see them once again.
    ~
    In her sight the bright plight of painted boats:
    Timber ghosts left haunting deserted shores,
    Unsure of what do: no longer used,
    They wither: waste away together.
    ~
    For this derelict wilderness in Bombay City:
    Tumbled and crumbled yet once so pretty,
    I find pity in my heart, pleasure in the Art, but,
    Sadness in the sacrifice of paradise.
    ~*~

    Thank you for posting, for emphasising the plight of the Salton Sea. I will read the article you linked, thank you.

    Hoping all is well with one and all in the Holler 🙂

    Take care, have a great week. Namaste 🙂

    DN

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your writing, and hence your thinking, gives me goosebumps Dewin. Bombay City is a living human created ghost town, with people living there, who express their anomie in art. I wish I could share your poem with them. They would appreciate your empathy and sensitivity, as do I.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Cindy, Namaste 🙂

        It is a most curious place to read about and consider about but I imagine similar locations are not uncommon along the coastal route where communities lie broken and fractured and subsistence living is the regrettable norm. What is endearing, encouraging, inspiring, is their desire to express, to reflect, prettify and enhance, and is so doing perhaps also maintain connection with the past whilst regarding the future with trepidation. I admire their resilience, their ability to resist persist, and exist in a world given over to greed. It is as though they leave a legacy in their slow demise. I find it haunting.

        Thank you for posting.

        Namaste 🙂

        DN

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        • “I admire their resilience, their ability to resist persist, and exist in a world given over to greed.”
          This is IT exactly. This is why I know they are smarter than I am, and have things to teach me. I have long been aware that people who have the very least, have strength, courage and survival skills that I am lacking. If I was put in their place, I would founder, and they would continue making art, and probably help me too. There is is such beauty in them.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Despite their tragedy and neglect, ‘there is such beauty in them’ – I couldn’t agree more, wonderful sentiments 🙂

            Nature’s instinct is to survive and flourish and the motivation for self-preservation is essential to that process. Those who have very little often live closer to death and perhaps as a result are more determined to stay alive by remaining strong and resilient in the face of adversity: by being courageous, resourceful, practical, focussed, fundamentally grounded, but yet, certainly never deflated in indomitable spirit.

            During time spent with the homeless here in the UK, I came to realise very quickly how deep-seated the fear of death, of violence, of ceasing to be actually is, and how these ever-present dangers motivate, influence, and effect a person trying to stay alive on the ragged edge of the ragged edge. Time in their company was at once humbling and inspiring: as despairing as it was enlightening. People shared their lives openly to the extent that I learnt of the desperate state they persist in, but more than that I came to understand something of the shameful world I existed in as well.

            Human beings can be amazing.

            Namaste 🙂

            DN

            Liked by 1 person

              • Sadly, I think ours is a world turned on an axis of fools gold by those who see arbitrary value in everything but the actual worth of nothing at all. It is their selfish, money-driven mentality that dominates society, which ultimately reduces humanity to nothing more than subservience: submission to a man-made monetary system that seeks to define us, diminish us, and stratify society ever further. Realistically those that have power appear to make little provision for anyone else other than themselves and do so only if there is financial reward. Profit before people is one mantra for our current age, but yet, human-kind considers itself both civilised and progressive. I don’t think it ever will be, or can be, not whilst power and wealth remain unequally distributed under the control of the few.

                It’s distressing to know homelessness is a global issue: that millions world-wide live without homes whilst larger numbers than that live daily without certainty of food and water. There appears to be no global agenda to resolve homelessness nor to ensure adequate provision for all the world’s people. I find that immeasurably short-sighted, incredibly cold-hearted, and distinctly inhumane: symptomatic of a world out of balance with itself. It is very sad indeed.

                The world waits for a leader with true vision. When then perhaps human-kind will progress, evolve, transform, become.

                Namaste 🙂

                DN

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  8. Thanks for the amazing photos, Cindy. As I have been in Bombay Beach back in 2015 this village still has a deep impact on me. It is an example of how easy things can go downhill, if you recall that lots of proms performed back in the 50s and 60s at the Salton Sea. My son told me this town is part of PlayStation’s GTA game and it’s called “Sandy Shores”. Thanks again for reminding me of great moments with my family in Bombay Beach. Cheers, Uwe

    Liked by 1 person

    • These towns that dot the sea have the same impact on me that you describe. I need to go photograph the laid out grids for suburban developments, with street names and curbs, driveways and lots, and signs advertising, “Build Your Home in Paradise!” I didn’t know about play station’s “Sandy Shores,” and will ask my son about it. Thank you for remembering, and even more for caring.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s just crazy making! It’s hard to believe America has been so hard on nature. Also, that people in certain businesses don’t care to spend, unless there is profit to be made from the expenditure. I do know some people (Canadians) who believe we are polluting without impunity and creating climate change. They actually don’t care. They say, it’s here, use it up, that the sun will burn out one day, anyway. Earth is doomed, and it’s now that counts.
    Interesting and sad article, Cindy! Great pics, of a different sort!

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  10. The enduring spirit of humanity is remarkable. What’s sad is that we could allow nature to take its course if it weren’t for the pesticides. I hope the money allotted by the bond measure can restore the health and beauty of this once-gorgeous landmark. Striking photos, Cindy ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are restaurants and stores in nearby communities. There are different cities like Bombay City around The Salton Sea, including a place called The Slabs. Since the sea is so large, people living at different geographical parts of the sea will access different communities. They need access to a vehicle to do this.

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  11. This makes me feel …so sad. Those artists are at least trying to make something out of the disaster, but much work has to be done to secure the animals and the people living in the areas there. Thank you for posting, Cindy. It is unbelievable how much we destroy – but I know much is possible to restore. The worst enemy is hopelessness.

    Liked by 2 people

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