Monday, August 29, 2011

On My Way to China La., Ended Up in (the) - Vatican, Louisiana

That sounds about right....Just when I had a plan, everything changed.  Sounds a lot like 6 years fact,  I think I will use that  from now on  in describing my Katrina experience.  Its an inevitable question -  "What was Katrina like for you?"  From now on I will say, "Well, it was a lot like planning a trip to China, only to find yourself in (the) Vatican..."  I would go on to say it was, and is,  about finding the balance between the two polar opposites.  So it's appropriate that I would find myself in (the) Vatican on the weekend of the Katrina anniversary.

My journey took a different direction when I headed towards (the) Vatican.  But I put my faith into believing that whatever path I chose was the right one for me.
Vatican Trinity
There were signs along the way to let me know I was on course, such as the house with the Jesus and Mary statues...

Jesus and Mary

And the street signs.  If I ever started to doubt myself, I just had to look no further than the street signs to regroup and get my bearings.

Pope Drive and Vatican Road

It's a different world out there in Vatican, Louisiana, but I soon got accustomed to my surroundings, and though things seemed strange, I began to recognize how much is really the same, wherever ya are.

The Digital World

Vatican Dwelling

Vatican Mail

The Vatican area is blessed with a beautiful and scenic countryside...

Hay and Fence

Vatican wasn't originally part of my trip, but I appreciate that it has become part of my experience.  I don't know where I'm headed next, but lines get crossed and plans get changed, so I know that wherever I end up is where I need to be...

Vatican Lanes

See you somewhere in the world!  - Natasha

All content (c) Natasha Sanchez

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Further Down the Road - Venice, La.

I'm starting the next phase of the World Tour in Venice, Louisiana.     I've taken a few Venetian trips - the first was a couple of months ago when I did some 'test runs' in Venice and Algiers. I drove down back when I was in the what camera?? what film?? phase.  I enjoyed the sights, got much inspiration, but I didn't like my photos.  I resolved to come back and shoot again.  This works out well, as I am in awe of the Road to End of The World, often stopping to photograph and take in the view.

It's a quirky little drive, which is another reason why I keep going back.  I like the vastness of small towns, but going down to Venice, the vastness isn't land, it's water, and its presence always felt.   I'm always grateful to be on the little patch of land that holds the highway.

Naturally, this is the Nattie Concepts World Tour, so there must be some life lesson or spiritual epiphany I unknowingly encounter.  Well,  I did have some sort of epiphany. And that is - I lie.  A lot. hahaha.  For all of my talk of carefree travels with no preconceptions, you would think that it was true - ha! - But its not.  What was so 'wrong' about my first photos that I felt I had to keep returning to get it 'right'?  I can only conclude that I must have been secretly hoping that I'd stumble across a pair of gondolas on the Mighty Mississippi or something....

When I went back for my second trip, I drove to the end of the highway.

I had the option of turning right or left, but the street was flooded due to recent heavy rains.  My poor little car gets flooded enough on my block and I just wasn't feeling up to chancing it.  So I concentrated on the highway, which is all I had ever known of Venice.

But the third time, the street was dry.  I turned right and this is what I saw: (insert dramatic ending here)

I didn't need the gondola after all.  Venice, Louisiana can hold its own.  It's absolutely gorgeous.  My first thought, though, was that I should, once again, go back.  Thanks to all my lollygagging on the highway, I reached the End of the World in midday light, I can only imagine how beautiful it must look at sunset.

So it turns out, to get what I truly wanted, all I had to do was drive a little further down the road.  As I left this little swampy marshy haven, Venice offered some words of wisdom and caution for my new found must-stop-lying-to-self truth:

Ah, the true and honest life, thankfully there are pretty sights along the way...


Cuba, maybe? 
dunno, havent decided, been lollygaggin' in Venice too long...

All content (c) Natasha Sanchez

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Here Comes the Sun - in Liverpool, Louisiana

Ah, the road to Liverpool is a pretty one.  I won't lie, though. This is the sole photo (sole photo, not sole shot, I have a kajillon) that I have of this town.  There just isn't much there.  Or so it seems....

Liverpool wasn't originally on the 'tour'.  I happened upon its existence while en route to other fascinating destinations.  I made a mental note to visit before heading home. Lo and behold, the long and (sometimes) winding road getting there became one the highlights of my journey.  

I had planned to start the World Tour this past spring.  I was eager to get back on the road with my camera.  Back then, I was consumed with how I would shoot.  Which camera? Holga? 35mm?? What Film? B&W?  Cross-Process???  As the date kept getting pushed back, my thoughts turned from the mechanics of shooting to simply driving, seeing, and capturing. So when it finally came time to choose, I didn't even think about it.  I simply packed some Tri-x Film along with my favorite 35mm camera, plus a little point and shoot (for instant gratification purposes).

(Insert favorite Joseph Campbell quote here: "The form is secondary. The message is what is important.")

So it should come as no shock to realize that I discovered this image:

The one thought that never varied about this tour project was the Intent of Inspiration.  And if standing on a remote highway gazing out at Inspiration Park, complete with a life-sized figure of Jesus and artificial sheep, was inspiring to me, well,, so be it.  I rarely question my intuition or inspiration..

Hard to see here, but in the center are 3 crosses with "Jesus" spelled out underneath.  To the left is the Shepard and the sheep.  

The Way to Liverpool seemed destined for more divine evocations.  Aside from the scenic view, however, peaceful magnificence gave way to interesting and favorite small town sights like this one: 

I tried to find the gas station that would be attached to this sign, but it was nowhere to be found.  I did, however, spot this fixer-upper across the street:

As I got closer to Liverpool, another building captivated my attention - yes - another church. The roadside sign caught my eye:

I just thought it a nice sentiment, and advertising,  that could be applied to so many situations.  It also seemed to validate my choice to start this blog.  The World Tour was just going to be my own little project, maybe a show or a song later, but then I decided to share the journey along the way because - ob la di, ob la da - life does go on...  

One of my favorite things about shooting film is forgetting what exactly I shot until I see the negatives come off the reel.  So, imagine my excitement when I came across this beauty:  

A Very Nice Way to end the first part of my World Tour, and a Very Nice Way to begin the next phase of the World Tour.  The agenda is simple:  I'll follow the sun!

Venice LA
Cuba AL
Colombia  MS

**please pardon all the cliche Beatles references, I felt it necessary..**