Dust Up

Have you driven down dirt roads? Looked back at the dust kicked up by the tires while on your knees, arms folded on the top of the seat long before children not wearing seat belts was criminal? Or watched the cloud rise up behind you in the rearview mirror, evidence of your movement, your existence in the world and your mark upon it? The crunch of the gravel under your tires grounds you to reality, the threat of puncture or ping ever present.  These roads are not so often monitored for speed and those most familiar with them fly.  For we who are cautious, as I am to a fault, it feels faster and scarier to navigate on a surface that is only layers of dirt. I cannot ignore that while seemingly packed firm, it is the road itself billowing about me.  Shifting. Still, I've grown up traveling these roads in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas and they represent something unchanging.  The dust comes in through the vents and coats the back of my throat and my hair, making them thicker. The smell of it settles on my skin.  For all their trepidation and mess, I cannot avoid these dusty paths.  Indeed, I seek them out.  They are both comforting and thrilling.

This remarkable photograph by Ahram Park is on exhibit at Haw Contemporary through April 5th.  There are others, though not nearly enough to satisfy me.  More on Mr. Park here.

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