14 February 2011

Catching up

Finally got my new PC after more than six months limping along on my old slow laptop which kept me from getting much photography work done. So I'm back!

Just a pretty sunset image from a recent trip to Galiano Island for now.

I recently finished reading Enter Mourning: A Memoir on Death, Dementia & Coming Home, by Heather Menzies. Very profound and well written. She's a photographer, so she used her camera as a way of processing the whole experience of gradually losing her mother to Alzheimer's Disease and finding healing from old wounds that it was too late to work out with her mother verbally. She intersperses her reflective memoir with some shots she took while on a visit to her mother's old cottage after moving her into an assisted living facility. Here's a beautiful excerpt that grabbed me:

"I reached for my manual Minolta slung over my shoulder, and took off the lens cap The camera and all the actions involved in taking photos bought me some time, helped prop open the door to what I was doing. As an old friend Moira once observed, we ritualize the unknown as a way to face up to it, to wrestle it into revelation; my camera became my medium for doing this. Repeating the ritual motions--adjusting the shutter speed and focal length—-slowed me down and allowed me to dwell in my hands and eyes, opening my senses to the body of this remembered space. It brought me closer, helped me to be present to what I'd spent so much time absenting myself from over the years. I also used the camera to hone in, to find and focus in on what I had particularly avoided. I'd learned to divine for water when I was a kid at the farm, using a forked apple branch, and I felt I was doing something similar here in this quest. The camera was the stick while Mum's place and the tangle of the time we'd spent here together was the ground, the currents of water were my feelings running hidden beneath its surface."

I've done a bit of using my camera to understand my mother's journey into the ravages of the disease, and to study the bits of herself that she's left behind all over the house. It's too personal to share any images here, but I definitely find it a method that helps me process stuff.

1 comment:

Colleen McCubbin said...

This is beautiful, Rosie. Thank you. I believe I'm going to need a good camera someday ... soon.


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