DAYS ON THE MOUNTAIN
For a month or so each year I get to listen to the talking tree. The talking tree lives in the forest, on the land where the cabin I call home sits. She is tall and curved toward the top; her bark has smoothed out and whitened with time. When the wind rushes through the Selkirk Mountains, the talking tree sways wildly and lets her voice be heard. Her voice is one of the few constants in my life, and when she eventually falls I will miss that sound.
We are fortunate if, in the brief time we inhabit this world, we find a place we consider to be home. A place we choose to call home. It took me some years to understand the difference between house and home, longer still to define the idea of home for myself. I live in the desert. My home is in the forest.
While I imagine some in my family think of our cabin in the forest as a vacation home, I cannot quantify its purpose so narrowly. I do go there to recreate, for certain. Yet I have gone there for myriad reasons: to work; to have more authentic and immersive experiences with my family; to mourn; to reconnect with myself. It is one of those increasingly rare places where I can go and simply be.
I am privileged to have known the place depicted in these pages my entire life. Many of my most potent memories and formative experiences are tied to this sliver of northeastern Washington. It is rustic, rugged, untamed. When I am there, my senses are actively engaged in a way they seldom are elsewhere. I feel fully present.
The photographs woven together to form the narrative herein were made over a fifteen-year period. Like many of the bodies of work I’ve created, this series also functions as a diary, a family album, and a self-portrait. It is a meditation on notions of home, the things we inherit, and those we lose. Ultimately, I suppose, it is a love letter to the place and the people that bring meaning to me on my journey down this chain of days.