Pine Tree Ballads by Paul Thulin

Issue 53

A small farmhouse surrounded by a dark forest of ancient pines struggles against the incessant nor'easter gusts of the Atlantic ocean. History creaks in the swaying limbs of this land where generations have discovered moments of wisdom, adventure, fear, and the miraculous.

Pine Tree Ballads is a poetic vision of land, family, and time. In the early 1900s, my great-grandfather settled on the coast of Maine because it resembled his homeland of Sweden and my family has returned to Gray's Point each summer for over a century. This photographic sequence resonates with a subtext of struggle and hope that mirrors my narrative sense of self. In this place, stories have arisen from the mouths of both the young and old that over time have become the essence of my family's identity. These images construct a unique memoir weaving the magical aura of an ancient, shared, historical record with the mysterious dreams met on dark moonless nights when one does not know if their eyes are open or closed.

Paul Thulin lives and works in Richmond, VA.
To view more of Thulin's work, please visit his website.

  Road Closed 

Road Closed 

  Cartographic Stain 

Cartographic Stain 

  Red Skies in the Morning 

Red Skies in the Morning 

  Gloria as Gorgon 

Gloria as Gorgon 

  Lady of Shallot 

Lady of Shallot 

  Constellation 

Constellation 

  Plaster Bat 

Plaster Bat 

  Our Lady of Guadalupe (AKA Salted Swim Trunks) 

Our Lady of Guadalupe (AKA Salted Swim Trunks) 

  Mother Evil Eye

Mother Evil Eye

  Bonyenne 

Bonyenne 

  Grave of Abelard 

Grave of Abelard 

  Boreas' Flowers 

Boreas' Flowers 

  Ode to Irving 

Ode to Irving 

   Sakaki 

 Sakaki 

  Searching for Mabel 

Searching for Mabel 

  Shack of Ryhope 

Shack of Ryhope 

Feathertop
Feathertop
  Grigori Shamsiel 

Grigori Shamsiel 

  Silvered Eye 

Silvered Eye 

  Exposed Fog 

Exposed Fog