No Choices?

The water that formed the canyon in the Rocky Hollow Nature Preserve in Turkey Run State Park had no choice; it had to follow gravity.

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Following the path the water took backwards is like going back in time and being able to contemplate earlier choices.

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There are places where we seemed to have a choice which only turns out to be a detour. How should we know?

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Worse, there are also places that prevent us from going back further, dead ends of our past, inaccessible parts of our memory, like here in Devil’s Punchbowl.

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The further we go back, memory is being reduced to form. 

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Does it truly make sense to look into this lifeless past?

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Catch me later, says the leaf.

Fish Have No Feet

While reading Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s novel Fish Have No Feet, which in part takes place in Keflavík, it occurred to me that I never posted my photos from 2017 from there. The book begins with the motto Keflavík does not exist.


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Well, most visitors who come by plane will know that it does in fact exist, and those who are forced to stay near the airport either because they arrive late or because they have to leave early, get a chance to visit. That this is an Icelandic city becomes instantly clear. It presents itself with openness and laconic clarity and always a bit more dedication than strictly necessary.

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The main source of income is documented for eternity,

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the love-hate relationship to the former US army base sublimated in an elegant sculpture,

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the local cave repurposed as the lair of a giantess with a golden heart,

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and comfort is offered to the tired (gigantic?) visitor with a wink.

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Is it ironic that even the scaffoldings are adorned with an extra touch? I don’t think so. In a country where impermanence due to the forces of nature is everywhere, building something requires an extraordinary belief in the ultimate possibility of permanence.

Desert Flowers

What would life be like if we could thrive only for a few weeks each year?


If, for the rest of the year, we had to lie dormant in dryness and heat, exposed to wind and relentless rodents that assume everything that’s not rock or sand is edible?



We would do our best to make these few weeks count. All our prickly defenses would make place for a display of attraction.



The pictures here were taken early 2001 in the Joshua Tree National Park, at the peak of the wildflower season. All these plants are strangers to me, as I am a stranger to their home, the desert.




It was still good to be a guest, because even the most alien forms of life can teach us something.



Persistence, in this case.