As we recover from the motion blur of our epic #Route101 road trip, much of the past year is coming into focus for me in the rearview mirror. I spent much of 2022 and a good chunk of 2021 thinking and writing about meaning—discerning it, making it, communicating it. I tried every personality test and even got into tarot. I turned inward, coiling up tighter and tighter until I got sick of that spiritual exhibitionism and the leering that comes with it. I wanted out and I found an unexpected exit in photography, an ecstatic eye to thread new lines through.
But the common theme that tied the two swings of the pendulum together was my eager reading of signs. Photography came into my life as literally and as concretely as being handed free camera after free camera without any rhyme nor reason. It finally clicked for me at 3, a very good and solid number to affix meaning to.
Another number that kept chasing me all year was 47. It didn’t mean anything to me other than being an imaginary parallel on a map I’d chosen as a username when I first moved to this part of the world 5 years ago, but for some strange reason (or unreason), this number grew a personality in 2022. I chose to befriend it, just like @mayaontheinternet; I guess this number has a posse.
I followed the signs without feeling a great need to know for certain where they were leading. I just let them put a smile on my face.
These photos are from New Year’s Day. I didn’t know we’d end up at 147 NW 19th Avenue when we first planned this trip. I didn’t know we’d sing Hymn 247 that morning either. I didn’t expect those words to bring me back full circle: back inwards to where that inner child I’d been mapping out resides. Lul-ly, lul-lay—it’s incredible how things can come together and how long a process that can take. But things do come together. Don’t underestimate the magic, as The Very Reverend put it that morning.
This year, I will continue to read the signs. But I will also read less. I will linger longer on every page. I want to savor every word.
The night before I took these pictures, I was entranced by a masked femme in black at The Coffin Club who’d brought a paperback to the party and, at one point balanced it on their head, swaying to their internal metronome in the midst of the electronic cacophony, eyes closed, palms clasped in ritualistic formation. I watched and learned. I want that energy in 2023.