Three Rivers, Michigan (March 2017)
One of the reasons I love living in downtown Three Rivers is that I get to experience the pleasures of an urban core—walking to the post office, hanging out at a great bar right across the street from my apartment—while also being steps away from rivers and the woods. In Memory Isle Park, the sudden transitions between spaces can be startling, and not just the transitions between city and country, or built environment and nature. Just a few steps from the idyllic bridge where countless teenagers pose for senior photos lies the detritus of someone who’s sleeping outside in the sloppiness of Michigan springtime. I watch as a group of neighbors attempt to launch a passel of those Chinese lanterns into the sky on a gray, windy day that spits rain intermittently. Most of the lanterns end up skidding along the ground before launching themselves into the river to become yet one more piece of trash tangled in a snag. I don’t know what these folks are attempting to memorialize, but it’s an epic fail at solemnity, and yet probably somehow more honest about the human condition.