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