Skagit Valley

Today I drove out to an old barn, built by a Swedish immigrant, that has been converted into an events venue - like for weddings and workshops. We are thinking of using it to stage a Norwegian play, a two person show based on Knut Hamsun's book Markens grode. The location was amazing, what a lovely valley. It is the first place in Washington settled by Nordics, and I don't think it is hard to see why, with views from the snowcapped mountains to the glittering sea, over rich farmland and rolling hills, filled with eclectic towns and independent-minded people.

Of course, the people living there have a bit of an inferiority complex about the big city, just an hour away.

I don't hate the city, definitely not, but it is not a place I long to return to. I have been to the baseball stadium, gone to Pike's Market, visited the Seattle Center, all those famous sites that get photographed all the time, and I have sort of checked them off my list in an obligatory fashion. Photography is about distancing, about framing, about editing, and maybe because I got to know the city first through photographs, it is permanently in my mind a non-intimate space. As many times as I have gone there and tried to get in the spirit of the place, tried to convince myself it was great, it has never felt like home. The only way I can explain it is to say I have nothing left to offer the city, and the city has nothing left to offer me.

And of course, the city it is not a great place to raise a family. For your average family of four (a husband, a wife, a son, and a daughter), Skagit Valley is the place to live. At least in Washington.


Jono said…
Ever since I was about 10 I knew I wanted to be out of the city. It took about 25 years to make it permanent and I have few regrets.

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