Healing Path

Healing Path

By Kim Rose Adams, Photographer

Having my photography included as a permanent collection in the new Primary Care clinic felt like a special opportunity to express something about our Pacific Northwest beyond my normal subjects of pristine landscapes, native wildflowers and boats. The image set I created for this space of healing was itself a journey, starting in the spring. 

We are a part of the wild

Captain A.D. mudding his wooden tuna boat, WA

Captain A.D. balances on the beavertail of his boat to mud over the new reefing in the seams. A bucket of “bear poop” was what he needed for the job, a thick compound of Portland cement and tar to seal in the fiber strands before the boat’s bottom was painted. This was by far one of my favorite tasks to do while helping him get the boat ready to sail for the summer.

Twin nurse stumps on private forestry land, OR

Waste not, want not. What logging operations have left behind becomes a stable platform of nutrients for new trees to grow on top. These “nurse logs” bear springboard notches from long ago, their wood now as soft as sponges. Oregon has been a major player in the production of this renewable resource, and Clatsop County is 94 percent forestland.

I wanted to explore how all forms in nature undergo transformation over time, including forest, rock and ocean. Aging, breaking down and regrowth after destructive events were the kinds of things that came to mind. This project led me to search for images invoking recovery, regrowth and even imperfection of structural form after recovery or change. 

We always hope that the wild will do its thing to keep things going, and though we make ourselves civilized and feel separate from it at times, we are still animals who are part of that wild. Sometimes recovery needs a helping hand. 

What healing looks like

This is why I chose the images of an old wooden boat — broken by the ocean but receiving our tender touch with new paint, corking, reefing and mud in the seams; old-growth stumps nursing new trees from the nutrients in their soft remains; a handsome native falcon with a broken wing that’s under the care of a local nonprofit; and more. 

There is hope and struggle in our efforts to collectively survive and thrive on this planet.