The story I tell is not mine to own; it is a story as ageless as time itself. Perhaps you know this tale from the inside out, or perhaps you’ve heard it from a distant friend. Regardless of how the story is passed down, its invisible thread courses in and out through the delicate fabric of humankind's soul, binding all together in a primordial tapestry of our one shared reality: the universal longing for love and acceptance.
I am an artist viewing personal and collective narrative through the lens of a camera. As I witnessed my mother through the months here chronicled, I began to see her story (and therefor the entire human story) with dawning awareness. We enter the world guided by innocence and curiosity - all senses alive – steeped in infinite possibility. As we look back, we may find ourselves idealizing this transcendental starting point, this youthful time and place where dreams were born. Yet, the experience of living makes its mark upon our soul, changing and shifting our course, demanding our attention and action. As we attempt to make meaning, memory will serve us well (or not,) like a diligent keeper, chronicling events in the recesses of the mind, translating through wounds, perceptions and desires.
At some point, all of us inevitably experience a pivotal moment that very nearly defines the course of our life. Whether a specific event, or an accumulation of small events, these experiences seem designed by the universe to challenge our deepest core and confront our capacity to engage and emerge. As I witnessed my mother’s story in image and scraps of paper, I saw the arc of her life unfolding. I found myself wondering how it is decided who among us will rise out of crisis with a new found strength in places once broken, while others simply fall quietly through the cracks, only to find comfort in solitude and darkness. These two opposite choices remain bound together by one invisible thread: the universal longing for love and acceptance.
In this offering it is my intent to give integrity and validity to my mother’s life, honoring her hopes and undying dreams, her innocence lost and found. Through word and image, these candid glimpses into her soul give her a voice, and in so doing, she speaks for the many who, for one reason or another, have wittingly or unwittingly fallen through the cracks. Essentially, this body of work is not merely a story of one life framed by mental illness, but a story that speaks to our collective subconscious memory of all who struggle to be accepted or understood.
The story I tell is not mine to own.....