Thursday, June 27, 2019

Linen, lace, and one family's story

Fabric memories
Laval, QC
June 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
I tend to use photography as a bit of a crutch, an escape from the overwhelming. I've leaned heavily on the craft of late - two weeks tomorrow, God - and I imagine this reliance won't end anytime soon.

I've been pondering our sense of place, and how the places that matter most tend to shift over time. For example, with no one left to live in my in-laws' condo, the clock now ticks down to the day when we remove the last things that matter to us, finish our final cleanup, sign the deed over to someone else, and leave it behind us forever.

So I've been hovering more than usual over the small things. Like walking up to the door and remembering the boisterous greetings my in-laws would give our kids when we arrived. Or sitting at the breakfast nook and imagining my father-in-law reading his paper there. Or staring out the window at the leafy neighborhood far below and wondering if Deb's dad enjoyed the view as much as I do. I walk slowly, linger a bit longer, stare a little more closely, run my fingers over the surfaces that I soon will no longer be able to touch.

This tablecloth got a lot of attention this week. During shivah, it covered the dining room table (I'll save the I-visited-a-house-of-mourning-and-they-fed-me thing for another day - long story short, it's weird.) Over the course of decades, we had countless meals on it. It's been spilled on, washed, put back out more times than I can count.

I'm sure if it could talk, it would tell stories of our kids' lives from birth to near-adulthood, and of the moments they spent with grandparents - eating, talking, playing, whatever - who loved them unconditionally. Looking at its delicate folds, I can almost hear the chaotic sounds of family, the background din that makes every home unique.

I can't imagine it being tossed into the sale or donation pile. Still too many memories to be made, too many spills to absorb, in another house, in another place, but still indelibly tied to the very core of what made - and makes - us a family.

#laval #montreal #quebec #canada #judaism #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

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