Monthly Archives: November 2017

An inhospitable landscape

Everything seems dangerous out here. And even someone’s final resting place doesn’t seem too tranquil.

Shafter, Texas
photographed 11.4.2017

Famous Artists

The cemetery? The Famous Artists are at the cemetery?

I’ve got to be honest here – that’s a little discouraging.

Shafter, Texas
photographed 11.4.2017

A crack in everything

After I was through inside the church – this was the last interior photo I made – it was time to walk around the building. As I made it around to the side that faces the highway, I saw him. The monk. He was on his way to the mailboxes.

In a minute, he came down the hill, and stopped for a chat. He talked about the town, the Mennonites who live just across the border in Mexico, the weather, Minnesota (where he’s from), a 1940 murder at the liquor store* and showed me the bullet holes, and gave me directions to the cemetery.

But you know what? I never told him about the icon, partly from residual shyness that still pops up from time to time, and partly because it seemed a little too fan-girl.

The whole encounter starts to seem like it was more of a dream than anything else, but I can see clearly his dusty brown robe, his desert boots, his long reddish beard…

Shafter, Texas
photographed 11.4.2017

* True.

Wilderness

Remember that I came to Shafter because of that story about a monk?

He’s about to become part of the narrative, but in the meantime, check out the way the light’s bouncing around here? Lovely, isn’t it?

Shafter, Texas
photographed 11.4.2017

From on High

The biggest building in town is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church; a notice posted next to the front door said Mass is celebrated there on the third Sunday of each month, at 2:00 p.m. That door was locked, but the side door wasn’t. I let myself in and spent a happy hour inside exploring and photographing.

This view, from the loft, was my favorite and I was especially captivated by the shadows behind the altar.

Shafter, Texas
photographed 11.4.2017

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