Home, October, 2011
This is the home I grew up in, in Enon, Virginia.
It’s been one year since Mama died, and a year and a half since Daddy passed.
I can hardly believe it.
Nothing seems real to me in the same way anymore. I am calmer, quieter, and certainly not stressed like I used to be, but I haven’t shaken this melancholy, this sense of futility that I have now.
Things that are abstracted (in life) are revolting to me now. I want connection– in work– for it to be real work– with a concrete value, in people– quality time with friends, substantive conversation with folks… I have a need to be present in a much deeper way than I have perviously understood. I used to think I was being “present” but more often that not I wasn’t, not like I feel it now. Very curious.
I find that when I am “present” now, everything feels like it is simultaneously in both slow motion and incredibly sped up– and kind of timeless too. I get emotional very easily, los my breath, or am really moved, often by simply things that seem to have a vibrant vitality that I hadn’t seen or been aware of before.
It’s a strange adjustment. Loss changes you in such odd unexpected ways. I see things so differently now. Still trying to figure out how to articulate this better, specifically.
I used to dread going home. I feel very sad about this now, but that was the truth.
Mama’s illness made things so difficult. It was exhausting, she was exhausting, and being enmeshed in that distorted my perception of it. It had a gravity all it’s own. I dreaded the sense of paralysis I felt when I was there, that nothing I did could change things or make it better. I felt crushed under expectations I could never live up to. Those anxieties eclipsed everything else.
Now I feel a deep connection to that home and the area I grew up. I spent my whole life trying to escape these places, and now I want to explore them in great detail, want to be there. I miss it on a physical, visceral level.
My dear friend Tina made this image at my request in October. I love the way the leaves look, the rich color. The house looks peaceful. We are both still in a strange limbo. When I look at the house this is what I feel most clearly.
I feel very protective of the house, and on a gut level want to be near it, to tend it. I think it’s part of the grieving process.
I haven’t been able to start editing the thousands of photos I made earlier this year while I was there. I tried to make use of every available second. I made photos every day for months, savoring as much as I could, knowing it was all going to change forever.
Thats my work now, sorting through all those images and thoughts while I was cleaning out the house, making sense of of it all, from this new perspective.
As of this past Saturday, the one year anniversary of Mamas death, the house is officially rented. It is now, in a sense, going to be someone else’s. It’s going to change.
Home isn’t going to be home anymore.