Dereliction and Reflection.

DSC03522I took this picture during a photography course a few months ago. We walked down a canal in Sheffield and this derelict building caught my attention with its rich palate of browns and reds reflected in the murky water. When I look at it now I can see a deep beauty in dereliction and reflection. It also triggers a sense of loneliness. This building, obviously had some function within the life of the canal, with its bricked up openings onto the water. Now it is lonely and unused.

It strikes me forcefully that there are elements of my life that become like this. I can become so engrossed in a phase of my life that other facets are neglected. It is only when we are, either forced to stop and take notice of what is unnoticed, or as in the case of the photography course, we take the time stroll around the hinterland of ourselves and see what has been neglected.

The beauty in the dereliction and the way it is casting a reflection, somewhere down in my unconscious, is just beginning to dawn upon me. If I can appreciate the grace of both the dereliction and the resonance of the reflection then some thing may awaken in me and offer to me a new avenue of creativity and wonder. That which has been unused may have another, more relevant practise that leads me onto a new phase. As my poem ‘Arriving in Magic’ says:

‘An old skin sheds no longer needed,

a way of good belonging now

outdated, letting go its grip I

find my orbit round a greater force.’

Written by

Adrian G R Scott lives in the Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, he is a poet , writer and amateur photographer. For more He has studied theology, organisation development and is now working on a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Sheffield University. He has written two books of poetry, one of prose and edited a collection of Poetry by the two writing groups he facilitates. After suffering a breakdown in 2014 he has undergone Jungian Analysis for the last two years. He also facilitates Rites of Passage for men and is fascinated by the stories and poetry that come from holy scriptures, fairy tales and other major world religions. He is especially interested in how we find our way through the world with the help of such stories and poems. ​ His books are available at Buy Books


  1. The gradient shades in the building show such depth, as there is depth in what lies derelict within us. In my life I’ve found that people, often those who are new in my life, provide the best mirrors for its reflection.

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