I was going through some old film and found a picture of my family from 1968—the smart-looking guy in the green wool hat is me. As a photographer, you are always working in the moment, in the present. To see an image from another time and connect that point to where you are today is odd. In what sense is that person me; in what sense is he a faded shadow of who I was. At least, I now have better sweaters.
I have been meditating on memories and genealogy. I am from a generation that broke away from the extended family structure. Over time, I have inherited objects from my grandparents and great grandparents. I have heard stories about them. The few memories I have are fractured and distant. All of these people are now dead. What remains are these objects. This image is from this work in progress.This is a small vise from my maternal grandfather, a boat builder from Nova Scotia, Canada. My memories of him are cursory: a short man, a quiet man, a stern man. I don’t remember talking much with him. I have one memory of playing with him when he used the handle of his walking stick to trip me up. We repeated this game for several minutes: him catching my ankle, and me falling and laughing.