Portraits of Self

There is no long trail of documentation that precedes me…no hard drive containing a vast record of digital photographs…who I was…who I am…appearance-wise.  I fear though, that I have left a huge trail of ephemera.  My children likely wish that my footprint was less in this regard.  I have a stack of concert t-shirts, for example…each one worn one time only…I hope everyone will select their favourite and take it, when I’m gone.  The same goes for my ‘vinyl’…each record played once in order to make a cassette tape and then filed in a box.  Why do I hold on to such as this?  Does anyone really know Three Dog Night anymore?

My mother found two photographs in a box taken with a borrowed camera and she swears that they are photographs of me.  Why do I have my doubts?  Here is one of these official baby photos…the only one of two.

I  treasured the paint-by-number of The Last Supper that my father did while stationed up north, so much so that I purchased its contemporary on E-Bay for $9.98…apparently done by someone’s grandmother circa 1953.  I’m glad I have an archive of the original.  (see below)

I’ve always been a pet-lover.  This has been documented also.

Next…proof that I studied ballet, until the teacher explained to my mother that perhaps this wasn’t the style for me.  In retrospect, I could have told her that and saved us both the trouble.

Family…most times one parent was missing from the photograph, depending on who was holding the camera.

School photographs are the best, aren’t they?

Two other portraits were brought to mind by a photographer of my youth, Lorraine.  The first one portrays my ‘earth mother’ days very well.  I made lots of whole wheat and rye bread back then, some loaves more successful than others.  These, always partnered by the community pot of soup.  Mm-mmm!  Lorraine captured my young-woman-walk-through-the-coulees-self exquisitely, me thinks!

The second sitting was with Lorraine when I was about seven months pregnant for my first baby.  I like the ethereal sensibility created with the lighting and the curtain in the window.  I don’t mind publishing the photo here.  Photos in our contemporary world have become far more provocative and revealing.  I think this one is subtle and captures, I think, my sense of anticipation, if not acceptance.  Thank you, Lorraine, for reminding me of these!

Based on this visual legacy, I decided to have my portrait done professionally and it was both entertaining, creative and fun!  Thank you, Jen of Jen Hall Photography!  A great experience and a record of my presence to my life.  Thanks also to Cathy Larsen who built a quilt out of 2006, a year where I documented magic every day for 365 days on fabric.  You are a master at your craft, Cathy, and I continue to this day, to treasure our friendship and your artistry!

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. Truman Capote

6 thoughts on “Portraits of Self

  1. I remember Three Dog Night! Of course that belies my age which I don’t reveal easily.
    I love the creativity of keeping a record of one year for of the daily magic. It would certainly help give a perspective to each day. Thank you.

  2. “There is no long trail of documentation that precedes me…no hard drive containing a vast record of digital photographs…who I was…who I am…appearance-wise. I fear though, that I have left a huge trail of ephemera. ”
    But how much of your ephemera is in electronic form? How many of the above photos are “real” paper photos? How many of the ones of your children are in “permanent” form? If you remember Three Dog Night, you’ve seen many electronic means of recording information come and go. I had loads on floppy discs.My current computer doesn’t even have a disc drive.
    Please! Please! Make proper copies of important photos. After all my recent holidays I produce a photobook. Hopefully this will protect important moments from crashed or stolen computers or hard drives.

    • That’s the problem that my children will have…I have all of these items in hard copy…that’s why I call them ephemera because they are ‘in danger of speedy disappearance’ I’ve dealt with this subject a few times in my blog…wondering what will happen to my art when I die…my writing…the cracked and wrinkled photographs. For now, they remain my treasures. Thank you for your insightful comment.

  3. Oh I so love this post. I know Three Dog Night. I probably have one of their t-shirts somewhere. That quilt, and your pro photo, are dynamite. Terrific read. Thank you.

  4. Pingback: Finding a Stash of Old Photos | The Chapel

Leave a Reply