This was the last "normal" visit I had home. In hindsight, I remember little of distinction.
I know I made notes. I always did, but I could tell you where those notes are now...
When I find them they will shed some important detail.
I had stopped making photos of them mostly, or myself while there. It's sad to me. It was then too. Mama's illness made everything so difficult,I didn't even try. I was so lost in my head, just trying to deal with her on a minute by minute basis. That took all my concentration.
Now, three years later I am finally getting around to looking at these again... I see them in a completely different light...
In the photo (above) of the garage, all is see is that empty chair.
Home, July 2009
Distance. Looks innocent enough... a wide shot, a lot of yard.
Underneath, what stands out is the distance between myself and everything there. I defend myself now by saying I had to keep it all at an arms length just to function in my own life, even 3000 miles away.
To anyone else this must look quaint enough, calm and quiet. A tidy little home. I am blinded by the howling anarchy of her illness and how it obliterated everyone around her, like trying to stand your ground during a violent hurricane.
When I look at this I have a split vision... a kind of x-ray vision... the surface is normal bu what flashes through my mind isn't the house and yard and summer afternoon. I don't see the house at all. In my mind I look down in defeat. I look away from the rage, the frustration, and crushing misunderstanding that tarnishes every word spoken, every gesture, to the point of emotional blindness.
layers of defeat
As the years passed and Mama became more ill, the garage became more and more disordered, until finally he was too worn down, to tired to deal with it.
I see it all in a blur
If I close my eyes I see the the different views, seasons, and stages of decline. The poor house a shell, an event horizon.
Daddy's last garden
Hopewell, the nearest town, 2 miles to the East, just across the river, was always so depressing me. With its polluted river, billowing smokestacks and sour chemical smelling air, and sad demolished downtown. Everything in Hopewell had collapsed. The population devolved, local businesses mostly closed or were overwhelmed by the sprawl at the towns fringes, with it's monstrous Wal-Marts and fast food.
I started to look at the towns decline and the decline of the lifestyle my parents worked so hard to build as a story of it's own. A story I want to explore and tell.
Route 10, East bound, approaching Hopewell