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Gallery: Prehistoric Days

Prehistoric Days: Climbing Rocks In Joshua Tree

One night a couple years ago we drove out to Joshua Tree late at night. We arrived after dark under a bright moon. Standing in the warm night, we gradually became aware of a deep droning sound that seemed to be coming from everywhere, or nowhere. The rocks themselves seemed to be singing. We walked in circles for ten minutes before we finally discovered the source: someone was playing a didgeridoo in the darkness. I know it was just some guy with a hollow stick, but I think I know a little bit what Jesus meant when he said the “rocks would cry out.”

So, anyway, my brother and I went out there last week and the week before. We climbed the rocks and otherwise entertained ourselves (I tried flying a kite at around midnight when the wind picked up, but the tail kept catching in the sagebrush so I stopped). Here are some pictures.

Oh, and the music is by Nathan Larson from the soundtrack to Palindromes. I’ve been hearing this piece around recently and I can’t get it out of my head.

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Gallery: The Plastic Storm

As you might have heard (or not – we here in Southern California assume everyone cares about our business), there was a big storm here last weekend. It rained heavily and the wind blew.

I went down to the beach during a lull. The normal scene of smooth sand and water was much distorted. The storm had brought in truckloads of what can be fairly called flotsam. There may have been some jetsam involved too. As well as some detritus.

Anyway, it was pretty terrible and it made me think of an article I’d read recently, which was forwarded to me by my favorite sister. The article was called “Plastic Ocean”. Read it now if you’d like, but be prepared to be freaked out.

That article, and then the view on the beach last weekend, has got me thinking about every piece of plastic I use. There are so many of them. And I’m constantly throwing them out. It makes me want to never use a plastic spoon again. And when I went to the grocery store today, I carried out all my groceries in my hands without any bag at all. Crazy.

I’d recommend not thinking about it too much, just for your sanity’s sake. In fact, forget you saw this. Put a (plastic) bag over your head or something.

Here are some pictures I took.

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Gallery: Salton Sea

I decided to drive to the Salton Sea last weekend on Sunday afternoon. Now if you’re a Southern California resident you should have already started feeling tremors of fear just reading that sentence and this is why: you’ll remember that it was the end of the Thanksgiving weekend and you know that there are basically 5 ways to leave and to re-enter the Los Angeles area. And, yes, the 10 freeway to Palm Springs and the Salton Sea is one of them.

So I drove happily to the east, noting somewhere in the back of my brain the acute absence of fellow travelers going my way on the freeway. Like the calm before the Katrina, anyone with any sense was not going east out of L.A. at 2pm in the afternoon on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This is like jumping off the back of the boat at midnight in the Southern Ocean. You can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to be a long time before you’re home and in bed.

And it was. The hordes of returning holiday travelers hit the bottleneck about the time I was leaving and the mess still hadn’t let up at 8pm when I decided to head home. I don’t know if the pictures that I got were worth the pain, but I had a pretty nice day and saw some nice country. I also listened to a good podcast from here on the drive out. And then on the way home I made a loop through Joshua Tree, which is always good for the spirit.

So, anyway, here are a couple pictures.

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More from St. Petersburg

You will recognize some of these images if you’ve looked at some of the galleries that I posted a few weeks ago. This is a slide show I put together after the trip to Russia in September.

For more information about The Harbor program, you can visit their website. The music for this I stole from Andrew Osenga and Bliss. I hope they’ll forgive me. Go buy their records. You won’t regret it.

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Gallery: St Petersburg, Russia

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St. Petersburg is a complex city. There are hard surfaces and sharp edges everywhere. Beauty and sophistication. Warm pastels. Darkness. Closed faces.

We walked around the corner to the door of our apartment and a man was lying in the gutter, his head on the curb. It was the middle of the afternoon. He was dressed well and wearing good shoes. No one was paying any attention. Should we help? There was the feeling on the street of studied indifference, of some inscrutable narrative being played out. Why? What were we missing? I stepped carefully, holding my breath, half expecting a trapdoor to open under my feet or something to explode. We stood nearby for awhile, unsure, and then decided to go inside and lay our things down. Climbing to the 5th floor, we looked out the window and he was gone. Where did he go? Had I imagined him? Like dark water, the city seemed to have pulled him under, not a ripple left behind. He stayed in my mind all evening.

Here are a few of my pictures (another gallery from a previous trip can be viewed here.)

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Gallery: Courage

Courage gallery thumbnailI just returned from a trip that included some time in St. Petersburg, Russia. I don’t write very much about the work that I’m involved with on this blog, but I wanted to share these pictures. These are some of the kids that I spent time with last month. They let me intrude in their lives in a variety of ways, one of which was to take portraits of them. Maybe it’s just me, but I like these pictures and I think they’re alright just as photographs. But there’s more to it than that.

Each of the kids in these photos has a story to tell which includes more difficulty, pain, and struggle than most of us ever will face. Each of them have been abandoned (or worse) by parents, survived the Russian orphanage system, and are working to make something better of their lives. I felt privileged to work with them. The photos in this gallery are dedicated to them and to their courage.

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Gallery: All Visitors Must Report To The Front Office

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Here’s something I shot this week.

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Africa 2007

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