Been really busy today. I went out and worked on my roadside memorial project and had a lot of luck. I found five memorials, a couple dating back as early as 2006. I feel somewhat conflicted. Those feelings of being exploitative of those who have had misfortune in their life weighs on my shoulders. If people would not have died, I wouldn’t be shooting these sites. My mindset is saying that I’m doing this project to further memorialize these people who I’ve never met.
I have also had to do a little research to “find” some of these locations. I have been doing Google searches on roadside memorials and variations on those search words. Really, I think all I have to do now is look up traffic fatalities for my area. That will lead me to these memorials. But it really feels wrong in doing internet searches for traffic fatalities so I can get photos of these memorials. Guilt is a better word.
Maybe I’m rationalizing. I know a part of me has the intention of helping to memorialize those who died. But if I’m being honest, part of me is trying to figure out the reason people feel the need to create memorials at a site of death. To me there is nothing good about these locations. Somebody died. That’s bad. So why create remembrances at the site that holds nothing but awful memories. That boggles my mind. Why not create a memorial at home, in their bedroom, den, or office space? There has to be more pleasant memories in these locations. Is this type of grieving healthy? I don’t have an answer for that.
I do find myself sliding into that journalistic mindset while visiting these shrines. It’s a good thing and bad. Part of this mindset brings about more awareness to my surroundings. I find myself very aware of passing traffic and anxious. Some of these accident scenes are a little “harry.” I can see why there have been accidents in these locations. But I also find myself shooting much more creative. At least I think I am. I feel very free with the camera and I couldn’t tell you the last time I felt that way in journalism. No editors. No bosses. No expectations. As I did the other day, I’m posting my iPhone versions of these locations.
Photos of the day are from my son swimming and my oldest son’s visit to Chicago. It’s been so stinkin’ hot around here that a trip to Chicago just isn’t all that appealing right now. Soon.
Until Next Time,