Powell Butte, Oregon

I never understood why mom took so many pictures of my sisters and I growing up. It kinda drove me crazy, and I swore I would not put my kids through that. Well, like the old saying goes, never say never, because so many things don't make sense until you walk in someone else's shoes, ESPECIALLY your own mothers. I would like to think I'm different, and that all my picture taking is justified because I hardly ever make my girls pose for me. Our approach may be different, but our hearts still cry for the same thing, to preserve and remember. Last night my Aunt pulled out her old projector, and all the 8mm film passed down through the generations. We watched films of my spunky mama, and her sister. I saw her infamous Aunts I always heard so much about, and saw my favorite cousin Jane as a baby. My heart swelled with purpose and meaning. Watching my people, watch our people, remembering and preserving the idiosyncrasies that make us, US. We can depart from our families and pave our own way, if we want and need, but I'm convinced that most of who we are can be found in our blood and bones, and all our beautifully, messy stories. The feelings that emotions that brewed beneath my chest last night could never be bought, and they could also never be as powerful if they had only been passed down orally. There was something so poetic and profound visually taking in the past. I'm so grateful for the women before me who documented the mundane, and I can't help but want to give my daughters that very same thing.