The River

The Mississippi River

“And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together... All of them together was the [river]..., the music of life.” ~ Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Standing at the river's edge...watching towboats push barges downriver, the wake from the boats rippling across the water's surface splashing higher and with more force against the much so that I stepped back a bit, I felt the power of the great Mississippi. In the wind I heard echoes of slave voices and plantation owners from a sad time in our nation's history. 

There are scenes of Louisiana in my mind that I could not capture with my camera because I felt to do so, would have invaded the privacy of the people living there and I did not want to exploit them in their harsh existence. We drove along narrow lanes, ancient pecan orchards on either side and boarded up shanties covered in leafless vines and brown moss dotted the landscape.  As we rounded a bend in the road, a particularly dark dark I thought it had been ablaze at some point, caught my attention. As my eyes became fixated on the structure, a tall black man stepped onto weathered wood of the tilting porch. He was dressed in dark clothing and was almost invisible against blackened siding. Our eyes met as he stepped further onto the rickety stoop. As we proceeded down the road, past the house, I turned my head to look over my shoulder to maintain eye contact, but when I could no longer see the gentleman, I faced forward looking once again through the windshield and wondered if I had seen a ghost from another time. I didn't ask my husband if he'd seen the man...I wasn't sure I'd seen him myself.

There's one other image that comes to mind...which to me illustrates that even in abject poverty one can live with pride. Along one stretch of road, where there were several ramshackle trailers nearly falling down, one of them had been badly burned and had a gapping hole in the front of it. There were adults around the property and children played along side of the trailer. I could see into and through the blackened place and to my amazement, brightly colored clothing, which looked freshly laundered, hung inside. 

Textures ~ Voices in the Sky and Pastel Whipped by Distressed Jewell


  1. I love your photography, but your writing is equally beautiful. Every time I see one of your photos with a texture, I think I should get back to experimenting with them. It's been a long time, and your work is inspiring.

  2. Your words are very powerful and emotional and honest. I so admire your ability to tell the story of your experiences and reactions - I can see what you have described so clearly. Your image is another wonder of texture application - I sit in awe of your abilities.


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