“Rest Stop,” a silver-gelatin print, was printed from film in a traditional wet darkroom. Following printing, it was bleached and hand-toned in sepia toner. This framed print is part of the Progress/Progresso exhibition at Silver Street Studios.
This past weekend, I hosted an ekphrastic workshop for the Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA), and “Rest Stop,” was one of the pieces that was used as an artistic prompt.
The amazing and talented authors and poets of WiVLA wrote some great poems in response to this image. I’d like to share the one that was written by my good friend, Celeste.
I can smell the gasoline and motor oil, feel the grime on surfaces in the restroom.
The man – young once, now long dead – whose place this is, his pride and joy,
With the quiet ambition of having good work, a business of one’s own –
Appreciated customers but was glad to see them leave, glad to have his thoughts to himself once again.
Long minutes when his mind can wander. He steps outside for fresh air and to contemplate his lost opportunities.
He wasn’t in it for the money. It was something he could do, is all, and show others he was making something of himself.
The quiet hours. Counting the change in the register, opening it again just to hear the bell.
This road was the place to be back then. Shiny people from out of town, bounding out of shiny cars, graced the threshold and were gone.
When the interstate came through, this road became a well-kept secret, the gasoline in underground tanks never to be burned on the road.
He stays outside. No reason to go back in.