susan mullally • photography

What I Keep

Portraits & Statements

Teri Lyn Hughes


Basically, in the practical sense, you need water to survive and a backpack to carry other survival - or even sentimental items - to survive on the road and on the street.

I'm so careful to keep water with me. I was on the way back to Beaumont where I have a tent. I forgot to fill up and a ride dropped me about 40 miles outside of Van Horn on I-10 and I ran out of water that night. So I woke up thirsty in west Texas and it was 85 by noon.


It was completely deserted and no one would stop. Just myself and my backpack in the hot sun. No water. In West Texas. I was getting sick to my stomach and I prayed to God the father to send someone with a kind heart who would give me a ride. When I finished I was tired and sick and I got up and started to walk again and I noticed a pile of trash and it was someone who had cleaned out their car.


There's no way to find water in west Texas in a hot afternoon. I walked by the trash and a voice told me to go back. Go back and look a second time. It was an imperative.Under all the trash was a full bottle. It was a full gallon jug of distilled water, never opened. I drank, I filled and I drank and filled it again. Ten minutes later I got a ride. He loves to strut his stuff.


My tattoo says Yehovah, it's the outward marking of the spiritual.