A year ago, I traded the narrow grey skies of New York City for the blooming vastness of my hometown’s sunsets. Then I found myself bobbing and weaving through the Dutch canals reflecting sea-like rainclouds on my cruiser bicycle with the blue basket tied to the front. I didn’t set out to seek new and different spaces to occupy, but life’s little ship granted me temperate weather from the bursting spring of the New Jersey suburbs to the apple cider season of upstate New York to the strangely warm winter of Texas to the budding summer of Amsterdam.
Starting with my time in New Jersey at the very beginning of lockdowns, I went for walks every day. On those walks, I thought about how lucky I was to be able to take walks. On days when it seemed that absolutely nothing was happening in our immediate surroundings within the walls of our homes but also everything was collapsing outside, I would wake up knowing that I would walk, and then I would go to sleep knowing that I had walked. For some reason, this tiny purpose made me feel a sense of direction during a decidedly directionless, uncertain time. Then when I returned to Texas, I decided to start photographing the sky. Every day, for one year, I took a photo of the sky; sometimes it was while running, sometimes it was clumsily with one hand on my bicycle handlebar and one hand aiming at the sun. Sometimes I forgot to post, but it gave me a reason to look upwards every single day. It prompted gratitude, sometimes awe. Even when it was raining, even the day it snowed in Houston, even when the power went out. Even while devastated by the country’s and world’s politics, disasters, and climate change- what better reminder of the need to stay engaged, to fight for change, than our determined and steadfast sky? Today is the one year anniversary of the project. I hope the photos provide you a bit of peace to browse through, and a reminder to look up.
We have been treading water, starving for togetherness while also forgetting how to be in the company of others. I remember thinking often: I don’t feel lonely, is this a privilege or a curse?
What did we allow in, when none of us should have been allowed out? I recorded my dreams in a notebook next to my bed, and some moments when nostalgia knocked at the door I let its muscular hope overtake me, quietly and then loudly and all at once.
Here, across the ocean, we comfort each other with little remnants of home; but what is home? Of course just like those who keep running from something or towards another, I want to say (and believe): different geographies cure us. But no, time runs just as quickly here and days pass just as slow. Moving doesn’t cure loneliness, it just gives it a different color, it gives it a different sky.