From the eCourse, STILL, with Henry Lohmeyer.
Day 3: Treasure
Can a plain and simple yellow ware bowl set upon the kitchen table make a grand statement? Is the subject of the photo enough to carry the image?
It is, I sincerely hope, my feelings that convey the treasure of this image. This small bowl belonged to my mother. Knowing her love of yard sales and thrift shops, I’m sure it was rescued and put to good use. I recall asking her if I could “borrow” it to practice still life photography, and as always, she was agreeable, putting my needs ahead of her own. There was an unspoken understanding that I would not need to return the bowl. I could have just asked her if I could have it for my very own, and she would likely have said yes. But such a question is difficult when you realize that asking for the bowl is like asking for a piece of your mother to remember. Questions like these lay death at our doorstep and in our case, the sad realization that sometimes those you love can be gone and still here at the same time.
Alzheimer’s has robbed me of the mother I knew and loved, and still, there are more than old memories. There is a new relationship with this version of my mother, where our friendship continues to grow. She likes to talk over old times and with this mother, we can make up new endings, write new stories, and share the best of each other. There is no need to rehash old hurts or disagreements, no need to prove anything, no agendas or problems. There is only time together.
I cherish the little yellow ware bowl because I see the many ways we fill our lives with love. It reminds me of my mother, the one who loved me first and still loves me with all her heart.