From “Here” to “There”

by Saeed Jones

For the last four years in a row, I’ve spent my 4th of July eating BBQ at the Salt Lick (a well known restaurant just outside of Driftwood, Texas.) It’s a thirty minute drive from Austin, a drive that takes me through the hill country & all of its rough greenery. I found myself using my iPhone to videotape the ranches & fields we drove by. And once we got to the Salt Lick & waited for our table, I took pictures of everything I could (a peach tree & the ruined peaches on the ground beneath it, the vineyard next to the restaurant, the rocky soil, the wooden fences.) A friend asked about my picture-taking & I first said that this was “research for poems I might write one day.” After thinking it over & taking a few more pictures, it occurred to me that I wasn’t being entirely honest. As I took picture after picture, I began to wonder if I had become a tourist in the state I grew up in. Has “here” become “there” so quickly?


3 responses to “From “Here” to “There”

  1. Since I’ve moved home, I’ve often grappled with this. Even tho I was neither born nor exclusively raised in Nigeria, I often feel odd pulling out my camera and taking pictures. I want to capture my home for eternal memories, yet …. what a tourist-y thing to do!

  2. jessiecarty

    As I sit here uploading pictures to Facebook from a trip back to the coastal part of NC, I can completely relate. The strangest is going back to actual homes where I used to live. Everything is cliche smaller 🙂

  3. Hi Saeed,

    Please can you contact me on the email above. I’m a researcher for Badilisha Poetry X-Change, a poetry project based in Cape Town, South Africa. Check out our site Look forward to hearing from you.


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