Raw from the Road, Las Cruces, April 13, 2017
Don’t Cry Mama
Don’t cry mama
It aint so bad
Come a little closer
I can’t see you
I know you don’t like to come here much
You prefer the cemetery
The proper burial ground
But you know my soul is right here
This is where my spirit said bye to my body
And you know, mama?
My spirit’s been soaring ever since
That ole tomb stone in the graveyard
Is so cold, so grey
It don’t say nothing
Nothing really about me mama
Here, I got a football
And a jersey with my number on it
Joey D. made that cross with oak
Polyurethaned it twelve times
So it don’t get ruined by the rain
So don’t worry mama
I’m aw right
Not On More, 2015, Santa Ynez, From the series, Las Cruces
I took these photographs around the corner from where I live.
The bright and pastel colors on these crosses convey a celebration and remembrance of the young man, 25 years old, who lost his life at this intersection.
Living in the country is beautiful. However it is not exempt from tragedy.
Country roads can be dangerous, especially at night, especially if one is intoxicated.
I didn’t know Austin, I read about him in the paper and when I drive by this site, I am reminded to be a little more aware, a little more mindful of who’s pulling out from the intersection.
I have many images of crosses from my travels. They intrigue so much.
The care and effort that goes into to creating some of them is astounding.
Like Hector’s memorial from yesterday’s email/blog
. They painted rocks and spelled his name on the the hill on the side of the mountain on a desolate quiet highway in Baja.
He was a truck driver so they built him a cab of a semi.
Inside were some trinkets, a steering wheel and a piece of paper in a plastic bag with information about him, and his life and what happened.
The day this project found me, around Utah, the irony was crazy. I was writing poetry in my car, while driving, about people who died, most likely in cars, while driving.
I’m not proud of it, I’m grateful nothing happened and more lucky than the people whose crosses I photograph and voices I imagine.
Anyway, while this project might seem morose and sad, because there is sadness when someone loses their life, there is also beauty in the remembrance of one’s life.
One woman wrote this about her son’s descansos, “Every time I go to Cleveland, I go by that tree and say “I love you, Wayne.” Said the victim’s mom. “It hurts to pass it but that’s where he spent his last minutes alive.
Be brave, be strong, be alive.