Desert Rumination

These photos remind me of my childhood. I took them in Eastern New Mexico on the first morning of a 4-day road trip from Roswell to Raleigh. The Southwest – from West Texas all the way to the Pacific Ocean – is mostly filled with these desolate but tranquil scenes of old deteriorating farms and agricultural depots on the flat desert plains. It's kind of a polarizing experience if you're from a different part of the country. A lot of people are put off being surrounded by dilapidated buildings on a parched empty landscape. But some people find beauty in the stark simplicity, and they find soulfulness in the imagined stories behind what's there.

I think these latter people have a more developed and nuanced sense of aesthetics. I fell into the former camp early in my life. I was weary of the desert and I think that, in my mind, it came to be a physical representation of the lack of experience and opportunity I felt there.

But now that I've lived in some very different places and experienced a lot of the things that I wanted to experience and some that I never dreamed of, I've come to appreciate the landscape I grew up in. It puts me in an contemplative mood in a way that nowhere else can. It makes me think about who I was, who I've become, the things that have happened to me, and what the future holds.