The Long Way Home


Let’s Begin at the End
June 14, 2012, 5:33 AM
Filed under: North Carolina | Tags: , , ,

*

A few years ago, Jeff and I thought it would be fun to drive to Florida for our annual family visit to Ocala – we’d stop along the way, trolling junk stores, finding forgotten towns. Maybe it’s just the busyness of this year, but the drive felt more tedious than usual. Fifteen hours in the car, even split over two days, is rough, especially on mind-numbing I-95. But in the last hours of our journey, we had stepped into another dimension. We checked into our motel and received a complimentary upgrade to a suite – a giant, wood-paneled room with a living area that appeared on camera as if in doll-house scale. I jumped on the bed, leaped off the back of the couch. I took cheesy bathroom mirror shots, turned the air on full blast. I opened the curtains to let the setting sun cast a deep orange across our room. I love being on the road because it takes me that much closer to home.

*

*

*

*

Advertisements


Letter to My Mother
April 22, 2012, 9:32 AM
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: , , , , ,

*

I dream about you a lot since you’ve been gone. Usually you seem very real, and the things you do in them are things you would have done if you were still alive. Like in one dream, you booked a room at some crappy motel next to a broken-down Ferris wheel, and Kristy, Fred and I had to scramble for money to get us all out of there and home. Or another time, you spent all the vacation money on souvenirs, so we couldn’t enjoy the rest of our trip. Why are you so irresponsible? I said, as if I were talking exasperated to a child. I have to remind myself, even now, that you were a grown woman, my mother.

But last night’s dream was different. I was standing at the top of the stairs of an old house. I heard knocking at the front door and peered down to see a man waiting for me to open it. I couldn’t see his face, but you were standing in the corner looking incredibly sad. Mummy, I said, and I panicked because you were disappearing. That’s not mummy, that’s a man at the door, Kristy said somewhere behind me. I was the only one who knew you were there.

[from A Conversation project]



Motel Stories
September 28, 2011, 8:39 AM
Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , , , ,

sea ray motel

Do you ever look at photo of a place and fall in love? It happened for me this time with Wildwood, when an old friend from high school mentioned how I’d love the vintage motels there. I already had photo ideas stirring in my brain before I even hit sand this past weekend. The place is a sea of beautiful, neon signs, one more kitschy and architecturally breathtaking than the next. And I was fortunate enough to receive a gift of precious, expired Polaroid film from my friend Juli, a photographer who creates stunning Polaroids. Instant film is such a scarce commodity now, so this photographic journey was an exercise in restraint, in making careful subject and composition choices. It helped me to slow my pace, to not look back once I pressed the button, and to let go.

king's inn motel

monaco motel

beach colony motel



I-95
June 26, 2011, 8:40 AM
Filed under: South Carolina | Tags: , , ,

*

Where were we? It didn’t matter, I just wanted to get home. I wanted to sleep in my bed, do a load of laundry, watch crime shows, eat anything but something fast. Car fever had set in, we drove around looking for an adventure, but the little town off the highway shut down early, even on a Friday. We bickered about where we should go for dinner, then laughed when we found ourselves at Shoney’s. Jeff dared me to order their seafood buffet and I did, but later regretted it when tiny hives erupted on my cheek. We crossed the street to our temporary home for the evening. The pool glowed a shocking green, almost fluorescent as the sun set and I started to cry. A sunset over the open road tugs my heartstrings every time.

*

*

*

*

*

 



Open Road
June 12, 2011, 9:14 AM
Filed under: Virginia | Tags: , , , ,

*

A few weeks ago Jeff and I hit the road on our annual pilgrimage to Florida to visit Jeff’s parents, covering six states in nine days. We thought at some point over the years that it would be awesome to drive there instead of flying – we’d make stops at oddball museums,  look at crazy junk that nobody wants, eat at ma and pop diners along the way. But the glamour of tripping faded as we zipped from Pennsylvania all the way down to the Sunshine State on I-95. It was hot (upper 90s) and it felt like most of the places we visited before closed, an unfortunate sign of the times. So we focused on the missions at hand: visiting our family and for the grand finale – getting to Gettysburg to scatter my mother’s ashes. I took a lot of motel photos (I’m a little obsessed, bear with me). Found a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes tucked in the Maryland mountains. And through it all was my mother, wrapped carefully in a vintage microphone case and nestled among my books like a little secret.

*

*




%d bloggers like this: