Little Altars Everywhere

Created during the heart-wrenching season when my mother began her downward spiral, these photographs saved me. My mother has dementia. The added trauma of a broken hip and surgery became the catalyst for a cascade of health issues that sent her quality of life plummeting.

On long days when it seemed all I did was travel back and forth to sit by my mother’s side, to the hospital or nursing home, I found solace and comfort in my photography practice.

Whether coming or going, I took the long way. Driving slowly. Taking different, less direct routes. Weaving along side streets, up one and down the next. Stopping the car, getting out. Walking aimlessly along sidewalks, through neighborhoods, treading gently on garden and forest paths.

At first, I simply took pictures of things that interested me, things I loved. But, as the days turned into weeks and then months, I began to see the whole of this experience, and what I’d been seeking . . . little altars everywhere.

With each press of the shutter, I offered up my prayers.

“Please let her come home. End her suffering.”

Each image is an altar where sacrifice was offered and grace received. These photographs are my epiphany, revealing the essential nature of what it means to live in the world as both beautiful and broken.