By Katherine Johnson
August Behind OK Bowl – 301 North Idaho Street, Oldtown, ID 83822
A few years past, I spent a number of months traveling around the Western United States, not because I planned doing this but because my entire life evaporated in a gigantic humid mess. As a result of that I more or less found myself homeless and quite alone. Because of all that I too evaporated into the horizon with my 14-year-old truck, a couple of changes of clothes, a few camping supplies, and my camera with three lenses. In those few months I wandered without purpose and found peace in writing and shooting photographs.
I now find myself engaged in a similar endeavor, once again without direction, for different reasons. I left Seattle about a week ago and I have no idea when I will be back though I doubt my absence will span many months this time. As I did before I will spend my days with my thoughts and camera.
The initial part of this trip has been spent revisiting places I went deer hunting with my Dad for a couple of years, beginning when I turned 12 years old. During those trips I got to experience moments when I knew he loved me; this did not last and for the next few years I found my life in complete chaos. We spent the rest our lives enduring a very broken relationship that evaporated into a tropical humidity that overwhelms the atmosphere and drenches you body and saps your strength.
The balance of this trip will be spent becoming a ghost in the world. When you travel alone you fit in nowhere and are more or less invisible; there is space between life’s atoms and that is the space I occupy. Wandering around without a map or goal other than to see what comes next has its advantages. This is the one time that being purposefully homeless and living out of a car makes sense as it allows one to be free; we get lost in the noise and forget what it means to have silence and the Milky Way at night. The pictures I take and the words I write are a direct result of these experiences; they are my meditations realized.
Beware of your treacherous heart, for it will take you to archipelagos near and far, and to islands of love and despair.
I have always wanted to take a photograph of a bowling alley. This one erupted in front of me when the light was nearly gone and I had but a few minutes to grab the camera and take this handheld. I felt a kinship with that young man.
Copyright 2016 by Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved