Recently I was looking for this picture of an artfully rusted steam engine that I took during a cross-country trip in 2009.
Rather than dig through the many thousands of photographs on the back-up server, I searched through the series of blog entries titled It’s a Big Dam Country that I wrote while on that road trip. When I began that trip I was running very hard, and very fast, and very much away. I was running from myself and my itching demons. I was running on professional advice. I was making no progress while standing in the middle of the smoking crater that I had made of my life. My therapist — against all the rules of therapy — actually suggested that I go ahead and run for a while, to see what it felt like to move again. So I did. I packed up my little blue car with a handful of road snacks, my special pillow, and every scrap of camera gear that I owned, then set out on the finest fool’s errand I could conjure: To attend the graduation party of my oldest niece two weeks hence in the city of Pittsburgh and along the way to take as many pictures of as many dams as I could find. [Read more…]