September Estrangement Series

Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing an assortment of #analogphotography from recent happenings and wanderings. This set’s from a staff retreat I was on earlier this month, my third time on this former military base. The first slide’s taken with a #Holga135 on #fujifilm200; the second’s almost the same shot taken on my phone. I greatly enjoyed my pre-dawn and early morning walks and felt like I’d completed some kind of cycle by being here, having sat with hesitation at the threshold of belonging the last time I was in this place. I’ve walked across now. I’m there. x The last night of … Continue reading “September Estrangement Series”

Dog Days/Dead Media

Today has been the wildest day for technology, with copiers falling apart, messages not going through, PDFs mysteriously rendering darker, and emails landing in spam mid-thread; so if Mercury isn’t in retrograde, it really, really ought to be. I even posted this before I was ready. Sigh. Astrology’s connection to my “style” has come up a couple of times in the past few of days; one friend zeroed in on my Aquarian bent (“a bit cerebral in your aesthetics. edgy, understated and clean. futuristic”) while another noted the broadly #crabcore vibe (“Cancer Mercury explains your posts, your memory for so much like … Continue reading “Dog Days/Dead Media”

Tacoma Exposures

This pavilion is known as the #Fuzhou Ting, after the sister-city in China that funded and helped construct this structure in #Tacoma‘s Chinese Reconciliation Park. According to ChinaCulture.org, “all pavilions described as Ting have this in common: they have columns to support the roof, but no walls. In parks or at scenic spots, pavilions are built on slopes to command the panorama or on lakeside to create intriguing images in the water. They are not only part of the landscape but also belvederes from which to enjoy the scenery.” This park is easy to miss when driving by, so I was pleasantly surprised … Continue reading “Tacoma Exposures”

Trip Like I Do—Palouse Falls, June 28

Getting here was incredibly rough on our poor little hybrid sedan; the road into the park is grooved like sawtooth, which is great for winter visits, I guess, but absolutely bone rattling for city slickers in a ten-year-old car like ours. I genuinely expected parts to start falling off the chassis like some Hannah-Barbara cartoon. But we made it and were greeted by the most incredible lunch spot and view. Palouse is the official state waterfall and is significant to me mostly for what isn’t here; I love that Wikipedia even includes a whole section about it: “In 1984, the … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Palouse Falls, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Priest Rapids Dam, June 28

The genesis of this whole itinerary was my reading about Smohalla, a spiritual leader of the Wanapum people and prophet of the Washani (Dreamer) religion. After yesterday’s extended quote from Eugene Smalley, I want to share a little of what Smohalla had to say: “The work of the white man hardens soul and body. Nor is it right to tear up and mutilate the earth as white men do. … We simply take the gifts that are freely offered. We no more harm the earth than would an infant’s fingers harm its mother’s breast. But the white man tears up large tracts … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Priest Rapids Dam, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Hanford Works, June 28

Somewhere past this barrier is the B Reactor, where plutonium was manufactured for more than a quarter of a century and was used “in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in ‘Fat Man,’ the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.” By 1966, the N Reactor came on and this death factory started to produce electricity, so up until that moment, the massive amount of energy produced here through the splitting of atoms and collision of neutrons “served no social purpose,” as Richard White so poignantly puts it. He goes on: “Everything at Hanford seemed … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Hanford Works, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Ellensburg, June 27

The guy at Brick Road Books was full of stories. He told me about the biker gangs that congregate at Palace Cafe and the many permutations of place names that change with the tides of patronage. He also talked about the kind of outside real estate development that made the city what it is today. His way of speaking was hazy and circuitous, kinda like a Kerouac novel, so it was hard to grasp everything he was saying about the dynamics between locals and outsiders trying to make this place more attractive, but I do remember that, at one point, … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Ellensburg, June 27”

Trip Like I Do—Seattle, July 4

“Processing” takes a much more visceral meaning when you’re literally waiting for a roll of film to develop. I’ve never really known a time when photography wasn’t instantaneous; I mean, I do remember those days, but they didn’t effect me personally. The gap between holiday and photo album was like the cash my father drove to retrieve from a robot in the wall—someone else’s magic trick. We’ve all been processing something very heavy and very large in the past few months. It rolled in like a summer storm and it just sat there, covering everything with the acid rain of … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Seattle, July 4”

Consolations

A Pentecost sermon is many things, but you don’t often expect to hear about the fear of heights, let alone the kind of morbid ideation that sometimes accompanies that phobic vertigo: “what if I just flung myself over the edge,” the preacher intimated, illustrating his larger point about the fragility of trust in the self in contrast with the solidity of trusting in God. I suspect that his moment of vulnerability was encouraged by an editor who left a comment in the margin urging him to “tell us something of what you’re afraid of here.” I wonder if he worried … Continue reading “Consolations”

A Facebook Post About Love

In two days, I’ll be taking a bus to Redmond to cast my diasporic vote in the Lebanese elections. I won’t be doing this because I believe that there will be a direct correlation between casting my vote and seeing any change in my lifetime; I’ll be taking that bus to cast that vote because I love my friends and family and when you love, you do things like that. You show up, you participate, you chip in. I’m grateful to be able to ride that bus to Redmond; I’m grateful that I can ride a bus to pretty much … Continue reading “A Facebook Post About Love”