Rising from a perfectly nice suburban childhood, I grew into an adult with a longing for freedom, adventure, and digging my fingers into some very sticky mud. And as I see the call to adventure in the natural world seemingly eclipsed by the call to code and play becomes what is done mostly in virtual realities, my longing grows stronger — on behalf of myself and my young ones.
One of the great gifts of parenthood is the ability to relive childhood, in a way. Recreate it. Improve upon it. And although we strive for an everyday life that is simple, gentle, nature-based, and lacking in screens or advanced tech, it sometimes doesn’t quite feel like enough.
So each summer I pack up the children, the dog, our Chacos, and spend a month in a small mountain valley in Colorado, to satisfy our collective drive for a truly immersive and connected experience. This photo essay is a reflection of our most recent retreat to the quiet wonder of the Central Rockies.
water meditations (in progress)
My elderly dog drowned while I was out at dinner. The shock of this left a permanent mark on me, but the tragedy itself, in a way, was almost poetic. I have always been equally drawn to and fearful of the water. Every chance I get, I visit the ocean. But I won’t venture where I can’t stand. I want to love snorkeling, but it induces panic in me. I love surfing— but mostly in theory. Sitting by the water is grounding and calming, but standing in murky water is a deeply unsettling experience.
It’s as though I’ve always known something terrible was going to happen, and a couple Novembers ago it finally did. And since then, I’ve been struggling to determine whether I am able to breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over, and begin a new relationship with water.
Watching my children experience the same draw, seemingly without the fear, has been both difficult and therapeutic. And so I photograph their interactions with my most conflicted element. Deeply immersed in play. Experiencing tranquility, solitude, and joy. For them, its not complicated.
This is a personal meditation on the question: can a deeply wired response be altered through the simple observation of others?
babies + bourbon
Early motherhood is suffocating in its ceaseless physical demands, acutely lonely in its social isolation, and positively maddening in its feeling of invisibility.
One particularly harrowing day in 2015, I poured myself a big glass of whiskey around 2pm and watched my runny-nosed toddler stomp all over the cream-colored sofa in muddy rain boots and a dirty diaper. I picked up my camera, and this project was born.
What began as a semi-humorous observation on the humble nature of mothering babies and toddlers (because, fuck Pinterest) slowly morphed into a broader set of self-portrait vignettes on the true motherhood experience - sometimes funny, sometimes touching, sometimes tragic. A way to prove to myself that I, too, exist, and that as oppressive as it was in the early years, it was a necessary part of raising remarkable humans.