This is a first in my year of pictures. The words came before the photograph.

My friend, Miss Polly, sent me this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver about the blackberries of August. I printed it out and carried it in my pocket for days, as though keeping it near my skin it would somehow seep inside, infusing me with sunshine and helping me to decide where I should go.

And it did.

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.
— Mary Oliver, "August"
Day 178

Day 178