I would like to say I was cleaning house when I found this photo; I wasn't. I was moving *stuff* from point A to point B in an effort to find a clear space to deposit more *stuff* on. It is another from the days of real film and f-stops, pre-digital, 1994.
I know exactly where I was; a small cemetery that now is exposed to the elements thanks to "progress"--a trailer facility that built some of the heinous, dangerous FEMA trailers. Yes, I say that with both venom and disgust. The building location ruined a piece of farmland and surrounding woods. It is an oozing open wound upon the landscape.
The cemetery is still atop a high hill, but most of the lovely protective trees are gone; the soil there is sandy and with each year and each heavy rain, more erodes. Frankly, I would not be surprised if at some point the inhabitants of the cemetery are deposited upon the trailer-sales building below. (which is a strange and humorous form of justice in Anne-Land)
And what does this have to do with anything, you ask?
My forefathers rest there.
The Thomas and Armstrong plots are at the top of that hill. When they were laid to rest, one would assume they would always BE at rest.
I was out shooting Spring flowers with a friend (now passed), who took the photo of me. It is a favorite. Many people ask why, because my face doesn't show, my hair was a wreck--thrown into a ponytail and hidden under a bandanna, I was dressed in my worst clothing.
But I was doing what I still love most---recording the seasons as they change. Laying atop the graves of my kin, covered with blankets of wildflowers, more delightful than any premade arrangement, in the quiet of birds and the wind. All was good. Everything was right with the world.
My old Canon AE-1, before the numerous and expensive repairs, shooting black and white film that I would develop and print. A day recorded in focusing and framing and shutter clicks.
Don't get me wrong; I love the digital age of photography in that you can see what you have instantly. But still, there is the side of me that misses so the smell of developer and stop-bath, counting off seconds, the smothering darkness required to load the film into the developing canister.........
And above all else, the physical freedom to just GO and move and shoot what I wanted. A day spent in the woods with no thought to anything other than the next click of the camera.
Yes, I think this is still my favorite photo of me as it is me at work.
And all these years later, I still do the same thing, but with more groaning and less grace.
All said fondly, of course.