15 January 2015
we were so tired that night. so tired. we'd been on the road for a week, spent the larger part of the day driving the streets of palm springs. the children were through with the architecture, done with adult conversations about easter egg color and mid-century everything. we made our way back to the motel 6, back to the swimming pool and the serious, serious business of cheap pizza and cable television. but the light turned gold, real actual liquid gold and just five short blocks from the motel, we remembered: the windmills. miraculously, the children did not put up much of a fight. large slushees had been consumed, extreme heat experienced, no one had much fight left. the day was still a fairly malleable thing. windmills, we said. yes, we said. let's go.
ten minutes later, we found ourselves out on the edge of town, parked as close to the windmills as we could manage. and we stood, in what can only be defined as a sort of desert wasteland. sandwiched between a stretch of highway and a chunk of train track, we stood. canyons to the right of us, windmills to the left, a sea of windmills, an endless, impossible chorus. below us, a desert floor so littered with trash we could not help but look down. palm tree pieces, glittery glassy bits, flattened cans from decades past. a toilet, a few tires, a flannel shirt, an old brocade couch. the deeper we wandered, the stranger the items. the stranger the items, the more excited we became. listen, the children were excited about the trash. you know what? so were the adults. collections were started, possibilities discussed. could we fit the ginormous tree branch aka wizard staff in the car? surely that palm tree chunk would make an excellent planter. hey, were those ray ban glasses? because we should not leave without those ray ban glasses. I don't know how long we went on like this. hours, it seemed.
the wind picked up, the last of the honeyed light fell over ava and I shot what would be my most treasured photograph of the year. as if on cue, a train rumbled past and the wind from it snatched that polaroid right out of my hands. we ran for it, all four of us, scrambled like animals to catch it before it completely disappeared. the same wind whipped hair into my eyes, sand into my mouth, picked up the edges of my skirt, flipped it over my head again and again. I should have been miserable, I should have been frantic. instead, I found myself laughing, half-running, half-stumbling in the direction of the polaroid. what i felt was joy. wild, delirious, unexpected joy. what was this strange, beautiful place we were lost in anyway? how did we end up here? how had it managed to completely charm us?
this. my most treasured moment of twenty fourteen, my most treasured photograph. 2014 holds a thousand different stories, a thousand different images but, this. the best of the best because I look at it and I remember and I think, yes. we said yes. in twenty fourteen, we said yes. when it was difficult to say yes, when we weren't sure about yes, when we were tired and didn't think we'd make it, we said yes. and certainly, it has been no walk in the park but the good stuff, the best stuff, happened because we said yes.
I don't know about twenty fifteen, I don't know how I feel about it yet. though there's bound to be some yes in there somewhere. I don't know about you but I'm rooting for the yes, for the running and the stumbling and the laughing in the general direction of yes, for unexpected desert wastelands and unexpected happiness and more honeyed light than I know what do with.
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the beautiful way you see the world amazes me always.ReplyDelete
thank you, tonya. that means so much to me. xoDelete
This one. This is what a recollection of a year should be. So much yes.ReplyDelete
thank you, thank you so much. it's hard to look back on the year and not feel overwhelmed by everything but focusing on one particular, singular profound event brought it all into focus. xoDelete
This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. Ever.ReplyDelete
wow, thank you. thank you so, so much. xoDelete
I love your photos and your writing, long may it continue! Happy 2015 xReplyDelete
thank you, clare! I so appreciate the kind words! and happy 2015 to you too! xoDelete
thank you! right back atcha, lady. xoDelete
Oh, what a wonderful way to describe the experience. It reminded me of one of my own, chasing a map blown by the wind in strange desert country. We finally had to just let the map go.ReplyDelete
oh, wind-blown maps! and letting them go! is there any greater metaphor? thank you so much for sharing that with me. xoDelete
Good writing tends to move like beautiful music across the page. This was one of the best songs I've ever heard. Thank you for this gift.ReplyDelete
thank you, thank you, thank you. can't tell you what that means to me. xoDelete
so beautiful. evocative and essential at the same time. happy twenty fifteen.ReplyDelete
thank you, francesca. thank you kindly. and happy twenty fifteen to you too. xoDelete
priceless. happy new year. n♥ReplyDelete
thank you, friend. and happy new year to you too! xoDelete
Gosh... you are such a beautiful soul.ReplyDelete
thank you. thank you so very much. xoDelete
you've documented this moment perfectly. your writing is beyond amazing <3ReplyDelete
many thanks! your kind words mean a lot to me. thanks for taking the time. xoDelete
Much love to you + yours.ReplyDelete
This is a beautiful glimpse into the story behind a most gorgeous photo.
thank you, friend and much love to you and yours as well! xoDelete
I am so glad that Susannah Conway linked to you for this weekend! Your photo and words let me feel the hot wind and the sting of sand, feel the laughs bubbling up. Thanks for creating memories for people who were no where near those windmills this summer! (autumnjournal.wordpress.com)ReplyDelete
yes...beautifully articulated...brought tears in my eyes! thank youReplyDelete