Journal from the Archive, page three, 7 June 2002

At times I am consumed by the struggle.

The idea of being consumed carries a degree of fear that helps push me along, like a dog nipping at my heels.

It is easy to freeze. You just stand still. Its also easy to fight and get beaten-up. Over the years I have experienced many of those variations.

The frogs have taught me something of seeing my own instincts to freeze or run hide with fear. Or to fight out the struggle with others and of course myself. Seeing those instincts while listening to the E. femoralis call gives me peace.

Going back to the Row Houses reminds me of how small my struggle is and how important it can be me ...and I can hope for more.

photo of stoop by a Row House after school student

The blurred image above is beautiful to me. It was one of the first images the after school kids shot last March. Two little boys were taking turns shooting pictures of each other with a block of wood. I was passing out cameras. They ran with the little disposable camera. There were about thirty after school kids playing in this urban-village-yard. Everyone wanted in every shot. Or they wanted the camera so they could take some pictures. I added two more cameras to divide the moving clump into thirds. It took five cameras to divide the now melee into small roving units of posing, posturing, and chasing. The picture taker learned to stop and snap quickly before being tugged while three kids tried to jump into the view.

In the image above the thin slice of blue and white on the right edge is the jacket of an avoided subject either posturing or grabbing. This was the only shot from that afternoon without a recognizable person in it. It is a small slice of solitude in a blur of color and life.

Tonight I returned from Rick's air-conditioned home it was cooler than the Houston afternoon had been. A small group of the regular Row House kids were in back playing on the stoop. These were the regular kids that live in the immediate neighborhood. The ones who are here all of the time playing. The ones who are the reason for places like the Row Houses. Some of the ones that ran with the cameras and shot many of the earlier pictures.

They asked to take pictures with my precious new Nikon digital camera. It was almost out of power and space. How could I refuse?

These thirteen images are in the order they were shot.

And it is time for me to be quiet and let the images speak.

This is my friend Re Re. She shot most of these images.


Tracy Hicks
223 North Shore
Dallas, TX 75216
214 948 0609