It’s probably obvious, based on my usual subject matter, that family photography is not my forte. I sometimes make exceptions for those I’ve shot previously or anyone close to me in my life but even then, I tend to have a “Thanks for asking but that’s not my specialty” ready to go in my arsenal of responses to the “Won’t you take pictures of my family?” question, just in case.
I realized recently, that I’ve been steadily re-falling in love with him over the last six months that he’s been here. That’s a weird feeling: thinking you know and love someone so unconditionally and wholly but realizing there’s so much more to this person that you couldn’t possibly fall in love with before he was able to stand half a foot in front of you and put his arms around you while whispering “God, you’re beautiful and shit, do I love you so much.” I’ve been fortunate enough to fall in love with him twice. Did you know that was possible? I sure as shit didn’t. It’s an unearthly and dreamlike experience.
Blanket me with the soft shroud of the setting sun’s fiery mantle of clouds before I get too lost in the cold dark of the universe, before the moon soothes me to sleep with its stories of brave explorers who long ago hovered sweetly above its lonely ground, before my fingers become raw with lucid memories of the earth’s thorny skin.
You would be 54 today, Dad. And I can hardly fathom it. Sometimes, it feels like the only language I know is time and we commune in years. I can still remember when we’d speak in days and hours and minutes, but it’s been a while now, for both of us.
“Our hearts beat so loud the neighbours think we’re fucking when I’m just trying to find the nerve to touch your face.” —Andrea Gibson
“It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all.”
Never be the grown woman without direction. Never be the person with no goals or aspirations. Never float aimlessly through life. If you don’t have the answers, pretend to have the answers. And if you don’t know what inspires you, pretend everything inspires you.
But that’s difficult, isn’t it? If you’ve never been inspired, how would you know how to feign it? It’s like attempting, in vain, to speak a language you’ve never learned. It’s like making love with your clothes on or swimming in the ocean with a life-jacket. Until you’ve ever really experienced passion and knowing the feeling of loving something so much more than yourself, throwing your entire body into it without discretion is an impossible task.
It’s rare that a day goes by that I’m not reminded of my hearing loss. There are so many things said to me or around me that I miss. I constantly feel like I’m on the outside of inside jokes or simply a quiet observer to a world I don’t completely understand.
Fame and I are generally strangers that have bumped into each other at an occasional party or two, an abandoned Georgia gas station, a nightclub, a backyard barbecue. She’s exceedingly beautiful and people seem to be drawn to her like flies to honey but I have no desire for a closer relationship with her.
Do you remember the first time I told you I loved you, sweetpea? I meant every word of that sentence. I meant it with every force within me that propels me forward. I meant it with the self same honesty and intention I feel when I hold your jaw in the palm of my hand, when I get my fingers tangled in yours and when I touch my lips to your earlobe.
The city swallowed you whole, but you climbed its walls to spite its fervor, digging your fragile claws into the merciless concrete, yearning to escape and inflate your lungs with the unstained air. Run like wildfire, baby, before they gauge your eyes from their sockets, before the hollowed savages press their sawlike teeth into your penetrable flesh and tear, tear, tear.
“All that shit you uncover is proof that you know how to dig and that the earth lets you and accepts you. I love sitting on the bank and letting you show off all the treasures and all the fossils you bring up.” —Anca Stefan