Thursday, September 1, 2011


I pass over the Coldwater River every day sometimes twice. In the mornings I look to the East and the sun is splattered into large white specks and the navy canvas has trees jutting through it and these birds. There is a throng of birds which meet at the Coldwater River.

I sit with him as he sits with them and as long as I have a couple of sugar cookies and a fountain coke then I am the coolest eight year old in the room. It is an early small town late seventies type of atmosphere. These men have offshore oil rig jobs and live half lives, half a life here and half a life somewhere else.

I always want to stop and show you the birds. In that moment I have to take a picture. It is necessary for the survival of the human race for you to see such beauty. It is imperative but there is a problem. The problem is I am going seventy seven miles per hour and there could very well be a car ahead of me behind me or beside moving at the same rate. The birds, they are standing there, and I am flying past them. My camera neatly tucked away as a passenger.

When I was eight how old was he? Let's see. My Mom's Dad. My Mom had me when she was nineteen, let's say he was twenty when he had her so thirty nine years my senior which at that time would have made him forty seven. For me six years from now. The really good people in your life, the ones that sit behind you in a painting 'cause your brother gave you the gift of that one year, do you ever want to meet them now? Could I one more time sit in a small town drug store with a group of men and listen to them talk and laugh and drink their coffee while I eat my two sugar cookies and drink my fountain coke? No? Maybe I am right now, maybe this is what memories are good for.

I don't plan well. I need to schedule that shoot. I need to do that shot and bring it here to you. I need to get this done. Remember how imperative it was? Necessary. Must do. Put on list. Put on hiking shoes, go there with the purpose of going there, slow down, carefully pull off onto the shoulder. Make sure you are good and pulled over, those people are flying, zooming even. Once you get past that obstacle get out of the car and climb down the bank without any thought of how you will get back up. Do I need rope? Nah, I've climbed banks before. It's just that I'll get dirty, amazingly dirty and I can't be at work like that although I am the most likely person to be at work like that. Must schedule. Plan.

So let's say he is here and I am there and we are in that coffee shop because once a week I schedule a talk with him and I eat two sugar cookies and drink a fountain coke. And let's say I say, Papaw you would not believe my week. I think I broke once into a fit of laughter 'cause the world became insane or maybe it was just me but life got short and choppy and fast and ridiculously out of control.

He'd smile chuckle and say, What happened?

And I'd tell him everything and it would be the funniest shit but in a dark humor type of way. And he would grin and laugh as I told it. His eyes would dance and so would mine and that would be the best damn sugar cookie I've had in years. Many many years. I miss him.

So I will do it. I am commissioning myself for a show. Photographs taken for the sole purpose of exhibiting the most accurate view of morning on the Coldwater River I can capture. Photos will be up by Sunday in this here gallery. Could I ruin it? Will I get hit by a car? Can I get back up the bank with the camera? What the hell am I doing? Getting you a picture, picking you a flower. That's some romantic stuff. All lovey dovey sugary sweet. Hugs.

For now I'd like to introduce you to a Papaw.  Papaw Moore, meet the world. World, meet Papaw Moore.

Papaw Moore by Robert Josh Miller

When people feel like home how do you say thank you for them? It must be that your heart sings it.

No comments: