Photo by @argonautphoto (Aaron Huey) of a boy and his horse in the village of #Ushguli, #Svanetia (Georgian Republic). This image is from some of my first film and my first camera (1998/99). You can see more of this photo story, the first of my life, and the one that shaped my photo career, in a great video @natgeo put together. The video is in my header at @argonautphoto and the photo essay the magazine sent me back to get 15 years later is in the current issue of National Geographic. by natgeo
The Riverbed. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hills, KY. Nikon. 2014.
To see more: https://steller.co/stories/350571045574411679
Photographer: Heath Stiltner, Afield Guy. appalachianduke
We are in the habit of seeing untended nature as a sort of blankness, awaiting human work to fill it. It’s right there in the name: vacant lot. A place where spontaneous life is invisible, or at best considered so many weeds, the term used to lump together and dismiss what thrives in spite of our preferences.
It’s natural for us to elide the existence of what we don’t notice, but when we do, we cultivate our own subtle form of emptiness. In cities, so-called vacant lands account for a sizable portion of our urban space: roughly 15 percent in most cities and about 6 percent in New York City. That’s a whole lot of life we’re not noticing.
Last night I meant to go up to my roof with some whiskey and think about nothing at all but I just couldn’t help myself, my brain wouldn’t stop working. It slowed, but it did not stop.
I thought first about how hard NYC is, and how it can crush someone’s spirit over time. I thought about cruelty. I thought about misogyny. I thought about mental illness. I thought about compassion. Then I thought about how sometimes when we rise above it’s not about being a better person, it’s just about making sure we don’t have to step in someone else’s shit.
Then I thought about how resilient most of the people I know are. I thought in particular about how all of the women I know work so goddamn hard. There is not one woman I know who does not wake up every day and try to crush it. They exist to succeed. They exist to make art, to support art. They exist to try and help other people. They bleed for others. Even if I don’t like everyone I know all the time, I still appreciate what they do. I thought about how fortunate I am to know these people.
After that I thought about how privileged I was to be sitting on that roof, breathing that summer night air, watching a fireworks display at the Navy Yard in the distance. Even if I didn’t have any of those things at that moment I’d still be living a life of privilege. I appreciate my life. I take it so fucking seriously. I know how lucky I am. I don’t play with it. I love it. It’s not a fucking joke, this life.
Then I finished my drink and went home.
I’m reblogging this because I still mean it.
Because these are things for me to focus on tonight.