“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. From the Interstate, America is all steel guardrails and plastic signs, and every place looks and feels and sounds and smells like every other place.” — Charles Kuralt, On the Road with Charles Kuralt
“Sunday Afternoon Drives” began as simple photographs of a road from home to a photography assignment in another town. It turned into a memory of Sunday afternoon rides with my grandparents. The trip was serene and peaceful and full of everyday life. It made me realize how fast my world has become and how I forget the simple back roads that use to be the only way I could get from one place to another.
I grew up in a North Carolina bedroom town where the only way to get to school was the meandering, indirect journey on country roads. So, I was delighted when the neighboring forest was paved to connect us to the next city because it meant going faster, fewer miles, and no dawdling drivers to make me late.
My life has taken a series of circuitous routes—hopeful, surprising, uncertain and challenging. My future is undecided, existential anxiety making me question my choices. But I must move fast, just to stay even.
In hindsight, the slow, serpentine route of my childhood seems compelling. “Sunday Afternoon Drives” was a new canvas, a sanctuary from the haste, uneasiness and uniformity I must travel through daily. My explorations brought me back to my daily childhood travels, only this time I appreciated the mundane, as well as unique. I recognized the value of simplicity: no lanes, no speeding cars, no industry, no billboards and no complicated exit ramps. Technology opens new doors only by closing old ones. It is important not to lose what’s behind the closed doors.