Seduction Photography, by Louis Shackleton

Your Narrative, Photographed

I was just writing a few weeks ago about how I love surprises. It turns out I don’t love *ALL* surprises, however. I most certainly did not love this one.

I got the call this past Christmas that my mother had died earlier that morning. It was a really tough day, followed by several more. The cumulative effect still has me a mess. I’ve been trying to pick myself up and dust myself off, but it’s not been an easy road. I’m doing better, but I still have moments.

This 365-day photo project has been cathartic in some ways for me, but I haven’t yet talked about my mother. Truth be told, I’m avoiding that deliberately for now. I’m trying to deal with one heartache at a time. Besides that, my mother and I had a very complex relationship, and I’m still sort of working that out. She left when I was five, and I saw her twice from then until I was 18. I never remember thinking of Mom in the same way most folks think of Mom. I loved her and all, it’s not that. As an adult, I got to know her, and she was a wonderful person who I loved very much.

Over the years, I’ve been asked eleventy-billion times a question along the lines of “Did you miss having a mom while you were growing up?” It’s an odd question for me, and a difficult one to answer. I don’t really know. How can I miss something I never really had? …well, I never really remember having, anyway. I have a very few, very vague, memories of the time before she left, but mostly I suppose it’s like asking someone who has been blind all that time if they miss seeing purple. Yeah, I think it must be like that.

Mom asked to be cremated, so she was. There will be memorial services in the Spring: one in Missouri where she’d lived the final two decades of her life, and one back in Ohio, where she was from. When I made the arrangements, the funeral home promised to call and warn me when her ashes were sent to me, so I would have time to prepare myself for their arrival. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone drops the ball from time to time. This was a big ball to drop.

Today about 1PM, there was a knock at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone, and I wasn’t expecting the letter carrier to deliver any packages.

Hello, USPS mail carrier.

Hello, Mom.

Hello, wine o’clock.

I trust you’ll forgive me if I’m a bit less than responsive for the rest of the day. I’ll do my best, that’s all I can do.

 


 

To repeat the disclaimer, this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.

I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is.

All my #365SelfDiscovery posts will be filed here.