R.S. Williams

All I want is to get the words right.

Tag: Travel (page 1 of 3)

Wednesday Photo: 9/19/18

“Waiting on a Train, Part 22”
Nashville, Tennessee – 2018

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Wednesday Photo: 8/8/18

“Waiting on a Train, Part 11”
Kansas City, Missouri – 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 8/1/18

Dale Chihuly, Amber Cattails (2006)
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver, Colorado – 2014

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Friday Photo: 7/20/18

“Self-Portrait with Porous Concrete”
Kansas City, Missouri – 2017

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On Returning from Maryland

As of 5:42 this morning, I was physically home from Maryland. Never have I cried so hard at a memorial service as I did on Tuesday, at my friend John “Mac” McNamara’s funeral. A thousand thanks to all of you who’ve helped me make this pilgrimage of sorrow, of loss, of gratitude, of goodbyes.

Despite having come there because of tremendous heartbreak, I did not want to leave Maryland. Emotionally, I’m still in College Park, Silver Spring, Annapolis. I can’t explain why. My intuition told me to stay: “Don’t go just yet. You’re not done here.” We shall see.

For the rest of my days, forever, I will be grateful to John. His kindness and encouragement literally saved my life on that March afternoon 16 years ago. When death felt like the only thing that would stop my suffering, John appeared almost out of nowhere to challenge that notion.

John was the first professional writer I ever met. He was the first person to take me seriously as a writer.  He was the first person to suggest I write about my father’s 1997 murder. Not only did I have a story, he said as he smacked his hand on the table for emphasis, but a story that I told as no one else could. He was the first person who meant it when he said I had talent. He was the first person who wanted me to understand, more than anything, that my stories were worth sharing with the world.

John’s words have buoyed me for almost two decades.

In the weeks since his murder, I’ve made almost no new photos. I’ve written hardly any new words. Words fail me, as does my sense of what makes a powerful image. At least I know this is normal. It’s how grief and trauma work.

But on the way to Maryland, at the Virginia state line rest stop, I did finally snap an image that fits the entire trip. Next to the sidewalk, this dead butterfly lay beautiful and broken—for no apparent reason. I saw it and sobbed like a little kid.

Dearest Johnny Mac:
Thank you, sweet friend.
You are the reason I am still here.
You are the reason I am still telling my stories.
I will miss you forever.
I will see you on the other side.
And when I see you, I expect you to roast me (again) for being a Celtics fan.

Always your friend,
Rachael

 

Wednesday Photo: 7/11/18

“Yellow Gladiolus at Sunset”
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver, Colorado – 2014

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Friday Photo: 6/22/18

“Michael’s Fine Clothes for Men”
Kansas City, Missouri – 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 5/30/18

“Waiting on a Train, Part 19”
Anniston, Alabama – 2017

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Friday Photo: 9/8/17

“Meditation Garden Window, Graceland”
Memphis, Tennessee – July 2013

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Wednesday Photo: 9/6/17

“Track and Sky”
Leadville, Colorado – 9 August 2014

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Friday Photo: 9/1/17

“Walking in Kansas City, Thinking of Home”
Kansas City, Missouri – 16 June 2017

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Friday Photo: 8/25/17

MichaelsFineClothesForMen_COPY_06-16-2017

“Michael’s Fine Clothes for Men”
Kansas City, Missouri – 16 June 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 8/9/17

“Waiting on a Train, Part 14”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 8/2/17

“Waiting on a Train, Part 13”
Denver, Colorado – 1 March 2017

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Friday Photo: 7/14/17

“A Quiet Moment in KC”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 7/12/17

“Waiting on a Train, Part 12”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

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Friday Photo: 7/7/17

“Self-Portrait with Porous Concrete”
Kansas City, Missouri – 16 June 2017

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Friday Photo: 6/30/17

“Mosaic Bluebird, KCMO”
Kansas City, Missouri – 18 June 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 6/28/17

 

“Waiting on a Train, Part 11”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

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Friday Photo: 6/9/17

“Red Truck Reflection”
Marietta, Georgia – 25 May 2017

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