A Sense Of Place

I write less and take fewer photos here in California than I did in Michigan. Maybe because any energy or time for communication or artistic expression is already monopolized in other parts of my life. Maybe it’s because I don’t need to work as hard to find beauty as I did in those long, grey winters. One sunny afternoon feels like the next, and my sense of time isn’t as rooted in fireflies / changing leaves / numb extremities / slushy roads / crocus buds.

This year I have been teaching a photography club after school. Maybe “teaching” is the wrong word because mostly I’m just handing cameras to kids and leading them rambling explorations. They climb trees, lie on the sidewalk, climb up into trees, and cluster around any available tiny leaves, unique garbage, cute dogs, and interesting patterns.

Their perspectives on the world make me more aware about my own, as I sift through the digital residue of the last few months. I’ve been in San Diego for almost three years – long enough to have routines and connections, but not to outgrow a feeling of being a newcomer. Pulling up roots can be so fast, and regrowing them so slow.

I love reading novels with a strong sense of place, and after 3 years in this place I have more senses than I have fully formed thoughts.

Cloudy May mornings.
Radio telling me about the texture of the ocean.
The bend of pelican wings above me (not quite echoed on my shoulder blade.)
Jacaranda purple pooling on sidewalks.
Palm trees bending and crackling under jet paths.
Smoke creeping over dry hills.

I can recognize the songs of humming birds & the scent of jasmine.
I am waiting for my lemon tree to produce fruit.

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Desert Colors in Anza-Borrego

We drove out on a long weekend to go camping in the Anza-Borrego State Park. Everything was vast – the sky, the mountains, the press of the sun during the day, the press of the silence at night. I sneezed a lot and only ran into one cactus.

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Since The Last Time You Heard From Me

I’ve spent the last few months languishing in a midwestern winter (and by languishing I mean mostly teaching and driving and teaching and driving) and a few brief explorations of warmer climates. The long lightless days have been tedious and difficult, especially in contrast to where I was a year ago, but looking back from here, they did include important and beautiful things:

Exploring new landscapes, seeing old scenes through new eyes, watching Spring creep up on us, finally opening up windows and leaving them open all night long.

blizzard

Snow Days

winter gold

Frenchies

Hangover Lights

Winter Sunlight

Ypsi Winter

Further Snow Days

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Mexicali

Mexicali

Mexicali

Mexicali

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego

commute

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Indoor Spring

tax day

mornings

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señales de la primavera

Starla '13

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