In Awe of Fishnet
The genesis of the name for this site came while using the standardly bundled but ever useful Microsoft Paint at work in NYC in '98, trying to turn free time into some screen top image, and trying to let my mind roam freely with visual and word associations, picture and story. This followed a 5900 mile, 17-day road trip starting in Denver, westward over the Rockies to Utah's Arches National Park, to the Ancient Pueblo People ruins within Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, to the Grand Canyon, westward to Las Vegas, north then west through Death Valley, smacking into the High Sierra which deflected me southward until mud slide-covered roads deflected me northward to hit the Pacific coast north of San Luis Obispo, straight up the West Coast through Monterey, San Francisco, the Redwood National Park area, the entire Oregon coast, as far as Seattle and the Hoh Rain Forest river valley, then returning by way of Portland to Jackson Hole in Wyoming in a day (1300km), and at last via Steamboat Springs back to Denver. Trust me, it was a lot of driving after dark, while tired, struggling to get somewhere new, but to keep awake as well. Believe me also when I say it was stunningly beautiful, the enormous and wide open American West. One theme underlying the trip was the jacket cover art from U2's March 1987 release, The Joshua Tree, which had been in my mind for a decade, so much so that I remember picking up 2 more cheap scratched jackets while wandering the streets of New York before the trip, and having one in the back of the vehicle alongside the 2.5 gallon water jugs. To be honest, as mentioned in the wikipedia article, the intensely wide ranging road trip focusing on a handful of National Parks and the vast stretches between them was to be also a personal trip of reconciling. On a very basic level, though, for anyone who knows me, absolutely any road trip is an attempt at reconciliation for being a stupid ass sitting in a deadening office for most of my waking hours. I maintain a lofty goal to be something other than so stupid in the near future. Photos from that trip are for the most part not yet digitized, but a few are in this Flickr set. I could not recall if the date range was Feb 12-29 1998, or March 12-29, but now recognize that there was no 29th day in February, so that settles it: it was March, pleasantly cool — relatively speaking — in Death Valley, and in fact temperate throughout the entire journey. As I draft this, I remember it was truly a fantastically lucky experience. One of the more iconic images is this black and white self shot from the desert scrub north of Las Vegas, several hundred yards to the East of a stretch of Interstate. Realizing I did not have time to visit the Joshua Tree National Park, I slipped and almost forgot what I had come for, and in a last ditch effort after noticing one of the few nicely sized Joshua Trees left in range, I pulled to the shoulder of the Interstate, grabbed 3 cameras and two tripods, and set out for a brief photo expedition, which turned out some of the most personally memorable shots. As I continued to Death Valley and a bit of off-roading, I was already running on the spare tire, as I had awoken in a motel parking lot with a flat after a beautiful moon-lit midnight run westward down and out of the Colorado Rockies. I seemed thereafter to only consider stopping in a repair station on two occasions, both Sundays, so garages were not open to help. I may as well comment here, that is how I live, willfully casting aside much of the margin of safety and not investing much effort to reinstate it, I don't know why. And perhaps I simply used the 'no spare tire' excuse to keep driving, past the people, to where the people were not, or were but only in very limited and appealing numbers — the open road, the small town, the off-season natural wonder of a national park, the any-season wonder of Nature in the Big West. I remember thinking that anything, anything out West beat choking on bus fumes waiting for a ride back at Newark airport, where everything, every something, being there, was clearly wrong. You never want to jolt back to another reality like that. You should never have to, but it happens all the time and almost everywhere, so still something is wrong, and I am aware of it. And since I am aware, I still have reason to take roadtrips. Just was on another near Melbourne, and if I am wise the future is wide open... Here is to more of the great West — 'cause anywhere is still West of somewhere.
Would that that realm enveloped existence for
those who stand in awe of fish-net,
or lasted for however long
in the souls of those who visit stores, staying briefly -
love runs before love comes...
Witness tunnels at eight, ninety,
the still warmth of the heart, always facing the storm
and it storms daily from hotel mouths to smoking lips to shaking hands
dying needily for comfort...
The scavengers clean, dusting for feelings
near where brass keys are touched by two hands
but a sleek, synthetic dress by only one...
What a loss, all of it...
Even if happy for a few moments, we are
lost and losing for there is no battle
to be won, struggle to create one as we do
through the endless hours
of crudity - you here, i think, while the 'I' thinking 'here'
is not here for you - what could be more cruel?
Pointlessness rages all the while as no point is found,
and the battle is to smile conscious
there is no meaning beneath it:
fabrication and the transience of friends
betrays nothing it never set out to support.
This was the first picture I posted to Flickr, and the first digital image I took with a new mobile phone in 2003. It was not hard to assign a title to it.
Augured things do come to an end.
Japan, too, would pass. Bring it on.