I go on lots of walks, runs, and rides in my little town. I see it’s pride and joy: a high school remodel with the biggest jumbotron in this part of Texas, new housing editions that are all glare and brick, or a handful of fast food restaurants.
Then, my excursions take me through the backside of town: broken sidewalks, cheap rent houses, refineries, and railroad tracks that end in a field. I kind of like the ugly places. It’s a habit to look for pleasing things in them- a certain light on water, a tuft of grass in concrete seams, a pattern in a shadow… whatever, and capture a bit of it. The rivers and parks of last summer vacation seem like another planet to me as I run down our crumbling streets and past our smelly river.
But, water is water, even if it’s kind of smelly; and sunlight is light, even if it’s setting over a tank farm.