Return to California

I finished the travel portion of my project on May 3, returning to a house full of dear friends in North Berkeley, California.

Now that I’m in one place, I am diving into the editing process. As I moved westward from New Orleans into Texas, New Mexico, and the rest of the Southwest, the sheer volume of new undertakings and foreign landscapes made most of what I experienced impossible to process in the moment. More than once since returning I’ve had the experience of looking at images I shot, and feeling so blown away by the unfamiliar beauty of the things I saw. The sheer volume and rapid intake of my experiences on the road is in such stark contrast to the slowness of my time now. I’m aware of this pendulum swinging to extremes– from the intensity of travel to the radio silence post-trip, now back to a more balanced middle ground. Was I really there? And did I really see and do all of these things? (As always) this resonates with a few lines from a Rumi poem:

      Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
      If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed.

I’m grateful that it’s time to unclench my fists and relax my outstretched hands. To measure and internalize all that has taken place in the last nine months of living.

Since I know you are all wondering, here are some figures about the project:

The numbers tell me so many things, like the fact that i underestimated my budget by 297%. That the rest stop nights may have only been 4 but they felt like 40 because they were the worst. That 122 generous people around the country financially supported this project.

Or that 297 photographs that I am proud of, that have content and potential, is a really wonderful number.

The stories I wrote on the blog left off in Florida, and will resume in the coming weeks as I post about my brief time in the Southeast, and onward through Texas on the road home. I’m looking so forward to sharing the remaining project images as I finish working with them.