“At the threshold of stillness within silence, the scent of mothballs signals the opening of a small steamboat trunk entrusted with long-forgotten memorabilia. Carefully placed upon a layer of women’s 1930 era clothing are three stacks of yellow ribbon-tied envelopes. Within each are hand-written letters reminiscent of second grade penmanship inquiring, “Dear Mother, how are you? Fine I hope.” On the left side is a stationery box filled with certificates of marriage, birth, baptism, and death intermingled with a child’s brilliantly colored drawings. Beneath the box is a small silk sachet holding a solitary diamond engagement ring and an ivory locket. At the bottom of the trunk, children’s books and wooden blocks with carved letters surround a miniature wooden rocking chair and a one-button eyed velvety-patched teddy bear. I become distracted from the remaining contents as black and white photograph images softly held within the folds of a woman’s garnet silk dress glide in the air and scatter on the floor.
“The photographic images are a visual memoir of a young family where trust once allowed two young sisters to roam free throughout a field of tall, yellowed grass. ‘How many days,’ my questioning mind wonders, ‘how many days were left before the decline of my father’s health shifted the lights of a colorful present into the gray-shaded time of waiting?’ Within this stillness of waiting, memory tells of a young child seeking solace through repetitive rocking behaviors and of a father’s fragile heart enduring a turbulent wait for a donated aorta.
I hear compassion speak to my heart and I begin to feel how my father intuitively knew of my inner turmoil and of the tranquil stillness within rhythmic repetition. His gift of a rocking chair tells me some fifty years after his death of the multiple emotional and physical sufferings within his suffering, the interconnectedness of the suffering within the family, and of his wish to ease our suffering.” …
Walden, Colorado is a small town hidden in a basin surrounded by the peaks of the Medicine Bow, Never Summer, Rabbit Ears and Park Mountain ranges. Landscape image submitted in response to Travel With Intent’s One Word Sunday challenge: change
spring breeze– the pine on the ridge whispers it ~Issa (www.haikuguy.com)
“[Frank Meadow] Sutclifffe rarely left Whitby, where his portrait studio kept him busy, and said that we was ‘tethered for the greater part of each year by a chain, at the most only a mile or two long.’ To most modern photographers this would seem a crippling restriction, but Shutcliffe gradually realized that is was an asset to him as a photographer since it forced him to concentrate on the transitory effects that would transform familiar scenes.” (cited: Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, the Aperture History of Photography Series: Aperture 1979
While I dreamed of traveling during those long-hours filled with work and family responsibilities, I find that Frank Shutcliffe’s creative work serves to move me toward greater acceptance of being “tethered” during this retirement period with the challenge to open myself to the “transitory effects” of nature that transforms the landscape close to home.
Image, haiku, and excerpt from Aperture submitted in response to Patti’s (P. A. Moed) lens-artists photo challenge: nature.