The moving of stones is the course of history, and of rubble and forgetting.
– W. S. Merwin, The Mays of Ventadorn (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2002)
The thicket of brambles had grown over the path to the front door, which faced south toward the road, and had made its way up onto the roof, into the tiles. To the left of the parched front door buried in its thorny tangle, another, older doorway, like a barn entrance, had been bricked up.... I peered through the hole into the half-dark of an empty, ruined room.
Stones lie wherever they are as though they had always been there. Our awareness of our own pace in time keeps us from recognizing that the motions of stones are akin to those of snowflakes and molecules, and to us the moment in which they lie seems like an unchanging condition, and they come to exemplify permanence. So the Venus de Milo looks to us as tough she had never had arms at all, and the ruin appears to have been the truth of the chateau from the beginning.
...the awareness of the deep past was inseparable from the lure of the land, which soon held me there, and the structures themselves appeared to me as palimpsests of unsounded age....