Yesterday, in a coffee-stained manilla folder, I found an old personal essay. I almost posted it on this blog but I remained indecisive about the imagery with which to pair the words. Embedded in the text was a reference to red dust and that was the image I most wanted — little pyramids of red — but the dust in the story is red Virginia clay not dark Massachusetts soil. I tried photographing mounds of smoky paprika but the imagery just didn’t work.
I then tried photographing blue sea glass. In the text there are many references to that color. There is even a blue glass in the essay but it is a drinking glass and has nothing to do with the sea. So, no.
The essay is about family and that universal topic of death and the revelations made soon after and then long after the passing of loved ones. I considered uploading this portrait of Steve. He is part of my family now. Maybe I could make him a bridge between past and present? In the end, I decide that wouldn’t work either. He is not mentioned in the essay at all as it currently exists. The key subjects of the text, my parents, passed away before meeting him. He often tells me that he wishes that fact were not so.
As the day grew long, I began to wonder about the appropriateness of posting the text at all with or without complementary images. An unfinished essay, without direction, perhaps something written years ago just to help me let go? Not a sad piece, just reflective, but would anyone want to read such stuff? I kept staring at the words. Not every passage worked but some did seem like diamonds in the rough. Maybe. In the end I decided to post the ice picture, little B-612 (by the way no ice on the windows today), and to commit to continue working on the essay. I will keep it out in the light and we’ll see what emerges this year.