Self Stalking on Red Lands

The mightiest forest or the deepest ocean depends on memes sprinkled like stardust from faraway places. You can continue always to be yourself and sink your roots more deeply into your destiny, but ideas and affections and adventures will always fall like pollen onto your curiosity, and that's how we all become pregnant with ambition. The fact that you shoot, that you are always looking, is evidence enough that you are already infected with possibility, and you will never stop looking for more. It's tempting to deny our desire to evolve by getting comfy and clutching contentment, but we're the product of millions of years of nomadic scavenging; it's in our genes to wander and wonder, and that reality we cling to is often a cruel lie. Yes, that family is lovely, yes, that hand feels good to hold, yes, it is good to laugh with friends, but it is always important to know exactly where the exits are, because we can hug and kiss all we like but sooner or later will have to escape. And that's when those delicate connections to the outside world become grapevines to swing out of the crowded jungle into the open skies of your own imagination. I am always intrigued by your trap and how consistently you seem to wriggle free; I joke about following in your footsteps, but I really do study how to walk like you, so I am grateful to this connection with your sense of being outside yourself. You're like a map I can read when I wish to go lose myself and ignore my mountains of promises and responsibilities. Your reality needs to be shared, because it is one in which the woman walks constantly toward her own escape. The question will always be: Does Rachel get away from her own stalker, that demon bent on destruction, Self?

-- from an ongoing fascination with the photographer Rachel McKinnie, who shoots Utah the way all of us should shoot our fantasies.