It's a funny thing. A messy room. Socks drying on the line. Empty bed frame with more spiderwebs, then dreams, ever being made. Piles of laundry, some clean and unfolded, some dirty and still muddy with memories of wading in the creek. Photos lining the dresser, framed and poised, voices and sounds trapped tightly between glass and cardboard, begging to be picked up and relived. Nail clippers, and eye drops, and creams for gardener's knuckles. I look at the window shades and can't help but wonder what Oma was wearing the day she picked them out. Was she all dressed up for a day of shopping, or was she tired from a long morning of cooking for the children. And if she was dressed up, did she still have clay in the cracks of her cuticles and did the cashier notice as she handed her the change. These echoes of things; I can hear them. The time two lovers slept back to back, stiff and silent, tucked-in only by an unshared apology. The time they stayed up until 3am repainting the walls, laughing hysterically as she danced, deliriously, and without music, on top of the plastic-tarped floor, after the last stroke. The time their little one jumped off the bed and bumped her chin on the nightstand, and only a bath and a song made the tears dry.
His shirts still hang in the closet. Even though his footsteps no longer break the silence of early morning.
I feel these things heavier than you might imagine. As I stand there, camera in hand, tracing the outline of of things unspoken.
It is the messy and the imperfect that bring my soul awake.
There are so many perfectly-placed and well-staged places and photographs. Sterile spaces have their tales to tell, too. But the stories of sterility are of "No jumping on the beds," and "Don't mess that up!" and my bones cannot find that vibration. Those are not my stories to tell. Like an untuned piano, I can still certainly play, it's just nothing to ever call music.
I live an imperfect life. I dance in the unending rainshower of imperfect circumstances. That is the human experience. That is where I belong.
Sand castles are nice, but I've always been the girl digging deep into the dirt, bare hands and mudcaked cheeks. Earthworms in my pocket, seaweed tangled hair.
There was a wedding I shot last year. And I cried the entire way home. An undiluted prayer of immeasurable gratitude. A small cottage, untouched for forever years, on a dead-end street, cradled by the sea. I return to that place almost daily in my thoughts, to revisit and remember the space where my heart beat the loudest. Yesterday, completely by fate, I captured a different wedding on that same small road. Another messy and imperfect home, vibrating profoundly with heart-aching tales of times past. And once again, breathing deeply in the middle of it all, I was exactly where I was born to be.