In an attempt to step outside of my comfort zone I've joined with a group of photographers in "The Story of Me Project". The underlying current of the project is to connect with ourselves. Each month we submit a self portrait that represents who we are or where we are at.
“Do you know,” Peter asked, “why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
A long weekend in a cabin with a porch swing flooded my heart with memories of my grandfather. Every time the littles jumped on to swing together or were wildly pushing one another or were simply pushing the empty swing I was reminded of another time, another place, another story.
Some of my most vivid memories of my mothers childhood home deep in South Texas are of the porch swing in the enclosed front porch. I was drawn to this space, watching the activity of the street while I carelessly kicked my feet back and forth.
Like many childhood memories the edges around the details are blurry. Do I remember correctly that it was my grandfather & I out there together? Is it true their pup would join me on the seat because I placed him/her there or maybe he/she followed me? Whose big smile is that seared on my heart - is it my grandfathers? is it mine? Is this a memory or a memory of a photograph I've seen in countless shuffles between my mothers and grandmothers photographs? Why don't I remember who was behind the camera?
How I wish I could ask my grandfather, he was a wonderful storyteller. I desperately want to have this conversation with my grandmother but our visits are lost in the past where she finds herself wandering alone and we spend our time gently reminding her of today. So, all I know to be true is the warmth, love, and joy that floods my heart when I recall these fragments of memory.
I want to leave my boys with more than questions. I want to leave them with their story to be recalled over and again long after I'm gone.
Back to the cabin in between adventures I heard their laughter before I could see them. Instead of making myself busy with tidying up I joined them and we kicked our feet back and forth until it was time to get ready for dinner. The memory of carelessly kicking our feet back and forth is now part of our shared story.
Every month I question if I'll be able to create a meaningful self portrait but what I'm finding to be true is that the constant running through any creative endeavor for me is story that is where the meaning lies. So, I will continue to seek out the story. I invite you to take a look at all of the other contributors submissions by visiting The Story of Me Project.