It Isn't What It Is

This commercial fuel stop is right at the edge of town; just a half mile north of here, the busy industrial road becomes a rural highway that winds through Oregon's wooded hills and farmlands. 


This is the first picture I took at the station, back when I was a shy photographer who didn't know how to sneak around. It's the view of the mill to the east of the station. I stood on far edge of the property, trying to conceal myself in the grassy field between the tarmac and the fence. I was too chicken to walk around the tarmac itself.

I worried about being watched, being asked what I was doing, being told to leave. Now I'm an old hand at getting kicked out of places at night, for reasons I would never have guessed when I was a teenager.

In a previous life I might have been a long distance trucker, or a lonely traveling salesman. Scenes like these, in which (for example) a bare bulb glares into the indifferent night, make me yearn for experiences I don't even want in this life, but which I somehow feel can--must!--connect me to the cosmos, and to the true meaning of everything. Is this what the Germans call Sehnsucht