Personal Essays

Personal ViewMaster (Notes from a roadtrip)


California, when we lived there, was somewhat misunderstood by many British people, they thought it was all Disney, plastic surgery, Arnie and Reagan, I doubt those attitudes have changed. I know that San Francisco was seen by many residents as an oasis of eccentricity with malls and agriculture to the North, malls and techiculture to the South. I'd forgotten how outside of the state it is often regarded as anomalous, the place where the freaks go. I'd forgotten too how beautiful the light is, how truly golden the ground can seem, how anything seems possible there.

The night we spent in Seattle with Brittney, Benn, and Spencer they had warned us that the forest fires were well, spreading like wildfire. Two days later as we drove through the forests around Mount Shasta they were layered with smoke like the set of a wuxia martial arts movie. As we descended to the plains the smoke was barely visible, but it filtered the light, and here and there lay in giant puddles over farmland.

During the time we spent there I didn't go back to photograph my old home. I didn't want to. I wonder what that says about me.