I’ve put it off long enough. Now it is time to tell you about the beginning of my trip! (Wasn’t the suspense just killing you?)
One reason it took me so long to get to this post, is because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say. I didn’t want to continue talking about my journey without giving mention to my first experiences. And I did not have words to describe my first four days in a way that would make sense to most people. I can barely make sense of it myself, and I was there! See, I’m already making this visit sound different than it actually was. It’s nothing I can ever fully explain, but I’ll try to give you the jist of the situation.
I went to visit my photographer friend Dennis, in Hayward, WI. This is a guy I had never met in person, although we had talked on the phone and had extensive conversations via email. For some inexplicable reason, I felt this was a man I could trust. Things I knew about him going into this included: he’s part Ojibwe Indian, he has had many different careers, including professional photography a couple different times, he hates shooting weddings, he does not get offended over anything, he has a broken back, he’s interested in discussing the concepts of “creativity” and “art.” This guy knows a LOT of things, and there is no way I could ever capture his character and describe it to you fully.
So I showed up on his doorstep, intending to stay for two nights (or one night, or no nights, if the situation demanded that I leave immediately). Dennis, his “wife” (Already here’s a complicated story. We’ll leave this one alone.), two dogs, two cats, and I sat around and got to know one another, ate dinner, visited some more, went to bed. The conversation flowed easily, and I felt comfortable being there.
We actually got along so well, that I extended my stay by two nights. (It helped that the guest bed was uber-comfortable!)
We went snowshoeing one day, to the river behind his house. It was a beautiful day for it, relatively warm (for the coldest part of Wisconsin in the wintertime), and the fresh air was invigorating. Being a former trapper, forester, and — as I mentioned — part Ojibwe, Dennis identified every single tree we passed and every animal track we saw, most before I even realized it was a track! Otter, rabbit, fox, quail… I don’t even remember. I am a very poor outdoorsman. However, I did enjoy the river scene!
That was our one outing. Dennis was not in top form, as his back pain was very bad while I was there. (Again, another story… which builds on many more, so it’s best I refrain.) So mostly we just had fascinating conversation after intellectual discussion, which caused me to think deeply about many different aspects of my life.
But one other unexpected thing happened, both for Dennis and for me. He wanted to photograph me. Me? A model? And that’s when I discovered that modeling is an act, and I am no great actress. When I’m asked to strike a pose, it’s next to impossible to get me to do it! And looking at the pictures afterwards was just as hard, or harder. Too many Ev faces. Too much Ev body. It’s a lesson in humility, is what it is.
The following pictures are a very small selection from the literally hundreds that he took.
I photoshopped this last one, in case you were wondering…
Anyway, I think that’s enough. Suffice it to say that the whole visit was a new sort of experience for me.
Four days in Hayward, then on to my sister’s house in Minnesota. That was the beginning of my solo trip into the great unknown.
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