Photo Schools: METADATA #20: ERICK ROWE
Photo Schools: METADATA #20: ERICK ROWE



1. Little biographical information is publicly available about you as a photographer. Describe your background and what led you to your interest in architectural landscapes?

I grew-up in the blue-collar town Lafayette Indiana. The neighboring town was West Lafayette, though…

Back Down The Mountain

One brisk morning in Matsuyama, I stepped out in my old running shoes onto pavement freshly moistened by overnight showers. Just days prior, an official announcement confirmed the inauguration of the rainy season. A soft fog of clouds wove between dapples of emerald and hunter greens. The mountain called out, and so my feet began moving in that direction.

Before long I found my easy stride met by gasps and puffs of breath as my run slowed to a brisk hike up a mountainside. Steep with worn soil, loose rock and narrowed by lack of use, the trail switchbacked up the side of the mountain. Hundreds upon hundreds of feet lay beneath me, and my ears popped as I neared what appeared to be light peaking between the thick branches and trees.

Sweet flowers greeted me. A buzz of bees hummed above my head. My imagination wondered what sort of things watched me climb from the brush and grass. I knew I would reach the top. When one gets to a certain point going up, you simply do not back down.

Pushing through muscle shakes and my heart pounding with anticipation, I reached a level area no larger than a small studio apartment. The rugged top, was adorned with shrines, arrangements of rock and other sentimental things. I felt the yell well right up, and so I did. I cried out and wound up laughing at myself. There, alone, atop a mountain I stood looking out over a land as foreign as I felt in my own skin at the moment. No camera accompanied me on this trip. The only evidence I left were heart shapes drawn in rock with another in my hand. I knew the rain may take the sight away, but I hoped my intention to spread love be felt by the next visitor who may come to pass foot on those rocks, atop the mountain in Matsuyama.

Filled with exhilaration and a sense I must share the feeling jetting through my body from the momentous occasion, I realized I must descend this mountain to tell the story. I felt my life a fable. The metaphors I once used become more real than surreal as I recited positively affirming phrases to comfort me in my descent.

So it is this realization, the coming down to share a heightened experience is challenging, more challenging than the ascent. The novel things that encouraged steps forward now taunted me with ideas of falling or loosing my footing. My hands grappled for something to hold onto. My feet felt unsure of the slope of the ground beneath me, but scootch by scootch I knew that what I had acquired up there in the fog of the morning was for me to share, and so I persevered.

Once I made it back to any person willing to endure my excitement, I had to face the feeling I had inside of me could not entirely be shared with any other. Even had I the capability to send the energy through my palm into the heart of another, the feeling was mine and mine only. As I relayed my story, I felt a sense of calm wash over me. I had suddenly made some shift within my being that any thought of mind cannot reach. It is simple. It is true. Coming back down is just as important as going up. Sharing completes the cycle and fuels the following. The story of the mountain, me and the morning is one for remembering, one for living.

A Chorus For Spring

How quickly these months depart us

Time as pages-some crumpled, or torn

folded and scorned-circled and adored.

Love likes to scent the air

with its springtime perfume

blasting through, remnants of autumnal nostalgia

melting a slumbering soil madness

so deafening in holiday idealistic dystopia.

We shift through, unto, our paired down lives

shirking the responsibilities of our brilliance 

scripted through, an accordion of waves

in frequencies few but angels and animals perceive.

Some beg to leave-

others cry for reprieve

but stuck between-here and me is the allofyou

bringing this moment into view.

We witness transition

relative to our own position

the world isn’t small-our ideas are.

As we expand awareness

catching glimpses of infinite wonder-beauty

arriving as a cascading splendor fall 

bestowing gifts unspeakable in its wake

beauty-beauty, we must, see it clearly.

-R. Wolfe

God Is A Puppy Dog

I posted it on my Facebook page to remind myself to look at it later. Yeah, I just said that in real life.

Do you ever space out scrolling through your Instagram feed while brushing your teeth. Things start to feel mighty clean.

In another alternate headspace I wondered outside my circle of social anxiety and found the bundle of uncomfortable. Exciting shit never happens when you’re hiding behind a bush.

Anxiety isn’t all bad. Scared doesn’t happen when you feel nervous enough. It’s a frenetic energy. Stuff gets made and shared before stopping long enough to care about how wrong someone might take it.

I maintain an awful policy about appeasing apologies. Under no circumstance shall I partake in any such ordeal. When seriously sorry, I bake cookies, kiss feet, offer massages and do anything to heal the hurt I have imparted. For those demanding apologies from a mound of just trying to grain more ground, the only condolence I can offer-may peace strike their heart at lightening speed. There is nothing I can do to heal a harmed soul that pissed on any help.

My friends are in the computer. A thicket of email messages, statuses, vignettes and other visual chatter as grown. A soul needs more. This vehicle is a tool. We are connected but it still takes effort to get there.

Scared is like having a door on top of you while your whole family piles on top of it. Drowning would be more peaceful. Thank the mighty puppy dog in the sky. Yeah, I like to imagine God like a little furry friend. He’s more cuddly that way.

Simple. Everything is simple and that is beautiful. What else is there to know? 

I Stopped Worrying

I am so goddamn bored it hurts. I felt caged and wild today, so I screamed in my car for about two-point-eight miles. Over my head inconsolable. This boiling is overflowing. So the stream may carry me and my disappointed rage right out my car door to someplace just a little bit more free. 

Everything in my life is in order-neat, tidy and literally contained in boxes. I keep reframing sentences to make positive things happen in my life-this is what I believe, but it’s so utterly exhausting. Probably better to forego the self-pep and just stop trying to suck it up. Do something worthless or of worth, while I give a final kick at this useless smile of denial. Maybe it’s got some teeth, but bored is better than fakery.

Perpetual happiness is a myth. Perpetual anything just doesn’t exist. Gurus say to just be, but forgive me-I thought we were here to do stuff. 

I remember my dreams better than my days. Important stuff sticks to you, or so they say. It doesn’t matter because what I am say isn’t important; what I do is. And when I am saying these words back to myself I am doing something. So what if I forget about it tomorrow?

I tend to feel self conscious about everything, unless I’m engaged in my work or in your words. Yes you who dares to consider the letters I felt worthwhile with whom to share. I like to observe the light and shadows as they flow over the forms of subtle forehead wrinkles, feathers in your lips, shifts in your uneven ears. We all have them. It’s perfect. 

Spacing out feels good, and I really like it. Making lists gives me doubt, fear and a false sense of security that what I’m doing has any worth. 

My wrists hurt when I write because I press too hard. I read somewhere once that it means I feel too much. Who doesn’t feel like feeling a lot? I’ve never heard someone say I don’t want to feel more. They might have been on some pills, maybe. 

But I have to admit I stopped worrying. That freed of a lot of time and while I often feel happy in those hours, some of it is just shitty and boring. And goddammit I care more. Like I needed more stuff to care for, but I do.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I started to like the way I am.



Wrote new article, Dietary Dogma, on Organic Soul. Great site. Be sure to make your bookmark!
Wrote new article, Dietary Dogma, on Organic Soul. Great site. Be sure to make your bookmark!

We ought to consider every moment magic. Every nuance or event was created specifically for us-our own reality. What we literally have then are infinite realities existing and relating amongst one another. Our goal then is to bring these realities into a place of harmony so that each one balances the other. It’s an intricate dance. If we go about unaware of our role in this dance, we create a collision course with every entity around us. Bringing awareness to our role naturally brings beauty and symbiosis to all entities we relate with. One could imagine the world we can inhabit if we all owned our role with dignity and grace. Oh, the splendor! Can you see it? Hold that thought, that feeling, that image for as long as you possibly can!

-Rachel Wolfe