When I enter Vegas, I enter the casino. I am hyper-stimulated by the flashing lights and the vibrant sounds of the slot machines, my nostrils suffused with a thick cigarette smoke that hangs over the room like a persistent fog.
I want to write about excess, about relentless desire and momentary satiation, about the merging of humans and machines in a trance at once fantastical, and then monotonous.
I want to write about the pregnant mother in the red t-shirt that drapes inelegantly over her burgeoning belly, standing with her back slightly arched back. She is a vision, a still figure set against a dull chaos, and I am transfixed.
I am moved to poetry. But Maya Angelou died this morning. And as I flirted with these lines of subtle judgmental observation, I thought to myself, why not write a new story? Why not compose a new song?
Traveling is an exhausting endeavour in large part because it requires me to be more open to the lives unfolding before me. When on the move and transitioning through different landscapes, I can’t help but notice the details of the lives of others and become absorbed into these stories which, granted, are mostly fabricated elaborated in my mind.
This is how I spent much of 2010-2011. Aside from the material I’m attempting to incorporate into my thesis, I have been remiss to share the accounts of my travels, which I continue to play out during dull moments in transit or times of silence, looking out into the valley below me. In the upcoming weeks and months I will try to remedy this neglect by recounting the meaningful experiences that I carry with me, starting with the following photos from the Philippines.
I’ve been meditating lately on the notion of solitude and the boundaries between silence and noise. These photos were made at a fast-food joint called Graceland, in Legazpi City, Bicol, Philippines.