Friday, August 21, 2015

Where's Heather?

Wonder Valley's own artist, Heather Johnson, is riding her motorcycle to the other end of the Americas. She's made it as far as Cusco, Peru.

Heather Johnson: In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful
From Heather:
Hey there everybody. So.. sorry for the long, crazy silence. It´s good to be in Cusco, churning through all the different bureaucratic processes involved in replacing the things I need to move forward. It´s happening, little by little. The first image I post from the replacement phone will be one hell of a luxury. Since I can´t post pictures at the moment, words will have to suffice. Here are a few collected bits from the last week I´d like to share. They are memory fragments - things I´ve seen, felt, heard, smelled, in mountain towns here in northern Peru. Feel free to run away with them in your heads at will. 
Love, H. 
A cow, eyes rolling in her head, runs down the concrete highway for her life or freedom, a long piece of rope trailing behind her. 
Broken bits of concrete gushing water from the rain. Blood red rivers of melting clay color the streets. 
20 guys with sticks and metal pipes struggle to remove boulders and 5-foot dirt piles from the middle of the road. Miles of buses and trucks wait to pass, their drivers huddled together, smoking cigarettes. 
Animal carcases organized in piles. Jumbled heads of lambs all look as though they´re half asleep. 
Cracked mannikin faces with brightly painted eyes and lips. 
Old men, stooped and limping, who look as if they spent their youths carrying bricks on their backs. 
Body heat. Blankets thick as rugs.
Rows and rows of televisions in different stages of disrepair. 
Bright yellow chicken legs with their nails all pointing in the same direction. 
Rain clouds close enough to touch. 
Skidding around an oil and rain-slicked switchback. Gliding to a horizontal stop with only the tiniest asphalt mark on my helmet to show for it. (Oh yeah.. and a slightly bent clutch lever.) 
Snow covered mountains with clouds smoking from their summits, backlit burnt orange from the setting sun. 
Dodging boulders bouncing off the mountainside. 
Villages made of mud and hand-painted political ads. No people anywhere. 
Underwear, uniformly arranged and sized, hang on a rooftop from multicolored clothing pins. 
My fingers. Forever blue, grey and black.