My dearest of dears, my friendest of friends is putting together a pretty incredible project in her town of Xerém, Brazil. Her photojournalism/storytelling project is engaging the kids in the community she works with there, as well as everyone else from home and abroad. So, I highly recommend 1. checking it out here 2. participating.
So, Michelle, here is my submission for photos of home, family, and a self-portrait.
On a semi-side note:
I’m reading Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea right now, and I was reminded of these people (family) and places (home) that are so inseparable from who we are and how we see ourselves. I suppose this photo project really gets to the crux of that, but when reading Mishima I was reminded of what it’s like to be a child and to take great meaning in the relationships between so many other people, places and things— mostly by allowing them to play a much more intimate role in characterizing what I thought of myself. I remember trying to understand my world by creating rules for how things must be, how people and places had to align, because that was just the way things were. Once I had rules for the world I could understand how to exist within those norms. I want to say a big part of growing up (sigh) was letting go of those rules, of those direct lines we draw from bed to safety or from home to family or from one heart to another….but really I think I ended up drawing more lines, building more relationships between places and feelings, or between people and myself.
Of course, Mishima’s Noboru captures it all so perfectly drastically:
“Noboru and mother– mother and man–man and sea– sea and Noboru…
He was choked, wet, ecstatic. Certain he had watched a tangle of thread unravel to trace a hollowed figure. And it would have to be protected: for all he knew, he was its thirteen-year-old creator.
‘If this world is ever destroyed, it’ll mean the end of the world,’ Noboru murmured, barely conscious. I guess I’d do anything to stop that, no matter how awful!”
Since I got such a positive response for the last post, I’ll share a few more things I found in books. I can’t seem to remember what the titles of the books were for any of the following photos I found, so here’s to a more organized New Year. Hope you enjoy these lost and found faces as much as I do.
What I look for in a book is pretty simple: I’m a sucker for a good story. But sometimes I get an extra bonus when flipping through the pages of a used paperback. Usually, the only thing left in a book is a receipt or a bookmark—pretty boring stuff. Sometimes just torn off pieces of paper, or, most often, nothing at all. A few tucked corners and maybe an inscription on the cover page. “Happy Birthday Sara, love always, Mom.”
Once I found $50 in a book on how to make money with your gun collection. I’ve found porn tucked between the pages of military uniforms in WWII. I’ve read some pretty heartfelt inscriptions in poetry anthologies dated not long before they were sold for a few bucks. Sometimes the best part of buying a book that has already been read is taking home with it a little piece of something the former owner left behind. I’ve gotten better at not buying the actual book itself, but Maureen once showed me a book she kept with hundreds of four-leafed clovers falling out of its pages.
Here are a few items I’ve found in books over the years. Trust me, there’s plenty more to come.
I know it’s cheesy, but I can’t help but to wonder; who were these people, how did they end up here, what story do they tell?
As a side note, I include the title of the book in which I found the item for the ones I remember or documented.