I am soft. And for the longest time I believed that this was my greatest weakness. But now I know this softness is my strength; my malleability makes me human. My soul will bruise but it will not break.
We wrote our dreams down on little pieces of paper, folded them up and set them ablaze. That smoke is still the air I breathe settled deep within my burning lungs.
Mom said that every boy complimented her eyes, (little golden pools that twinkle in the sun) Boys only notice my eyes when I'm sad. "What an interesting color", they say. Chartreuse irises complimented by ruby rims. every boy but my dad. - I have my mother's eyes.
She smells of the earth, not the pretty earth: lavender, roses, lilacs and peonies, but of the earth itself: flesh caked in dirt, salt and the rain.
"You could be married". She said this as if I was not aware as if I did not know that in some parallel universe I was walking around, stomach swollen, with a wailing toddler on my hip. Of course, I knew - this woman - I longed to save, but it was her or I. I …
And so it began, like so many before, knees on linoleum, worshiping toilets.
I bought those cigarettes with absolutely no intention of smoking them, because you were cool and I had always thought that they were too (cowboys and movie stars and you when you're drunk). I craved nicotine. It got a hold of me without so much as one hit, one inhale, exhale, smoke filled daydreams.
Fistfuls of dandelions hand delivered to a mother who refused to tell me they were weeds. On hands and knees we ate the grass, slicing our tongues in a world of pretend.
Growing up was/is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. This reality is expressed in Vacationland, a project rooted in the idea of running away to discover truth. A timeline of events, part one focuses on the early years, part two junior high and the beginnings of puberty, and part three the ascent into …
Here is another selection of words and images from my most recent project, Vacationland. See the first batch of images and read more about the project here.