Artistic and Other
Philip K. Dick
Thich Nhat Hahn
Robert Glenn Ketchum
Terry Tempest Williams
With Leigh Ann above North Clear
near Creede, Colorado
In the San Juan Islands,
there are mountains there is Hope
A cubicle-free zone
Note: When I started building this website I
had planned on writing it in the third person, in
the manner of most other standard "professional"
sites. But now that just seems silly... I am the
one building this and I am writing it, so why
should I say "John" or "he" except out of pretense?
So at the risk of using too many I's, here we
I grew up in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, but
after 20 some years there I realized that the East
Coast wasn't cutting it for me in terms of
landscape, climate, and adventure. I moved to
southern California in the late 80's and soon spent
much of my time exploring or longing to be in the
mountains or desert. My first trip to the Eastern
Sierra at the foot of Mount Whitney was a
transcendent experience I will never forget, coming
face to face with overwhelming, monumental nature.
Although I had been taking photography fairly
seriously since 1986 or so, I didn't really
understand what I was doing until I attended the
Tri-Community Photo Program in Covina from 1993 to
1997. If you live in LA and care about photography,
check it out, it's awesome. This changed my life,
and I spent much of my free time in those years
taking classes, working in the darkroom, and
learning my craft.
But lives change, riots and earthquakes happen, and
eventually it becomes time to move on. In 1997 I
relocated to the liberal hippie paradise of
Boulder, Colorado, where I continued to slave away
for my employer, a well-known multi-national
corporate giant with three letters in their name.
In spite of the beauty of my new town and the
Rockies out my back door, my creativity took a
dive, sacrificed to the pursuit of career and
involuntary overtime. Big mistake. In 2003 I walked
away from this death-trap, suicide-rap (thank you,
Bruce) and hit the road on an unemployed adventure
which lasted much longer than I had planned. How
does it feel, to be on your own, with no direction
home, like a complete unknown? Well now I know.
Life is fascinating and frightening outside of the
safe suburban cocoon, though not as frightening as
it is inside it. But I digress...
In 2005 I landed safely home at Orient Land Trust
in the northern San Luis Valley of southern
Colorado. The "Valley of Longing", a friend calls
it, and that it is - a vast, mostly empty, almost
desolate place that brings you face to face with
earth, sky, wind, stars, and your own demons...
because there is little else to distract you here.
No TV, barely any radio, no bars, few restaurants,
just the big dry empty. And it is here where my
photography exploded, so to speak, where the
creative longing that had been bottled up for years
finally came roaring out. The sleeper had awakened,
and here, in my natural element, the pieces of my
life have begun to assemble themselves.
So this is what you will see here on this evolving
website; glimpses and visions and songs of Tierra
Sagrada, the sacred chunk of earth on which I now
reside. On which we all reside. May we treat her
with kindness and treasure each day we are
privileged to walk under her endless blue
The Sangre de Cristo
range and Cottonwood Peak, elevation