My parents recently moved to a suburb about an hour away from the city where I grew up. I had mixed feelings on the matter — disappointment that I’d now be that much further from the friends I already barely get to see; happiness that my little sisters would now have a front yard to run around and play in; skepticism that a county with “Blue Lives Matter” flags sprinkled along the roads could really hold the American dream.
One afternoon, I went on a walk through the neighborhood and on my way up one of the hills, the fences around some properties caught my eye. In particular, I was captivated by the juncture where the pickets all aligned and formed into a sort of mountain range. It was as though the fences were cutting into the hills and dirt, carving out their own landscape, making (as the cliche goes) a house into a home.
I maintained most of the visual integrity of my image during post-production. The most significant change I made was the coloring of the sky. I graded it from a softer blue to a fluorescent shade of mint. I wanted it to look candied almost, like a sweet whose satisfaction is quickly followed by sickness. I am beginning to think that this, perhaps, is what it means to “make it.” I am beginning to think that perhaps to find a home in these places is for the sweetness to never unlearn its sorrow, yet for the sorrow to never snuff out the joy.