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Tiny Chapel

In 1991, I read William Least Heat-Moon’s book PrairyErth: A Deep Map, about the middle county in the middle state of the continental US, Chase County, Kansas. I read it with an atlas so I could follow along his deep explorations of the county. It’s a long book and I read it carefully; it made me re-think the way I looked at things I wasn’t even used to seeing (fence posts, for example, or a thicket of trees beside a stream). I am quite certain that this book influences my photography almost every time I pick up the camera, as it gave me the understanding that taking slow and deep looks into the mundane would yield great rewards.

Now, this tiny chapel at the geographic center is not in the same county where the book was set, but the visit here sent my mind thinking about the book for the rest of the day. And when I got home, I pulled it down from the shelf and put it in the reading queue: it’s time for a new look at this particular old friend.

at the geographic center of the continental United States
near Lebanon, Kansas
photographed 12.11.2020

Center Chapel

I can’t think of any rational person who would knowingly pass up a chance to visit the geographic center of the continental United States! I mean, really, what a great opportunity that is. The center! The EXACT CENTER. And the fact that it is only a few miles off the highway makes it even more of a must-stop location.

I am not quite sure what I thought would be there. I am very certain that I did not anticipate a tiny chapel as the main thing. Yet, somehow, there we were: a pair of travelers on a cold and windy day, standing in the middle, looking at a chapel.

That’s the fun of a road trip.

at the geographic center of the continental United States
near Lebanon, Kansas
photographed 12.11.2020

Minimal View

Sometimes when I take a picture through a dirty window, I get an image that’s full of details I couldn’t see but that my camera spotted.

And other times, it’s more of a, shall we say, minimalist view. Depending on my mood, I like the simple ones better. This one, for example, with the heaviness of that white wood on one side offset by that cobweb on the other appeals to my eye.

Downs, Kansas
photographed 12.11.2020

A fan of the church

I’ve written posts in the past about my interest in seeing the nuts-and-bolts of things, the things that make it work or that hold it together. And I can promise you that I will always take a picture of a floor fan inside a church.

St. Gall Catholic Church
Colton, Washington
photographed 9.4.2020

Door Number Three

I love to be the only person in a church, and if I’m there at the time of day with sunlight slants through stained glass windows, that’s a nice bonus. I was particularly fond of the way the crosses over the doors got progressively lighter.

And, you may want to know that St. Gall is the patron saint of birds and geese and Switzerland.

St. Gall Catholic Church
Colton, Washington
photographed 9.4.2020

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