full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


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prairie clouds

I went to see family in Winnipeg in June. I always look forward to the clouds. My sister rolled her eyes every time I took a photo of the cloud-filled sky. But we just don’t get them in Vancouver. I remember growing up in Winnipeg, lying down in the grass, looking up at the clouds, and seeing all sorts of amazing things in the clouds – bicycles, animals, people’s faces! What do YOU see?

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looking back: the childhood photo

{…written for a third-year university course, January 15, 1998…}

Photo description: Taken when I was between 5 and 7 years old. I am on the couch screaming and kicking my feet—a typical temper tantrum for me when I was a child.

I chose this particular photograph because not having my parents’ photo albums with me, it is a picture I clearly remember and will never forget. It reflects my personality development: I had a short temper throughout my childhood and adolescence. The photo accurately represents what was to follow in those years. I remember always getting into fights with my brother or sister when I was young, and then with my parents when I was older.

Photographs are very important to me, as I think they are to anyone who likes to take or look at them. They document a person’s life, from birth to death. They are a form of storytelling which is an important way to recount history, especially for me because pictures contain information I may not necessarily recall, about myself or my family. They give me a better, perhaps enlightened perspective on my childhood and my development.

Pictures also document how my family grows and develops. They indicate what the important events were, for example, when my younger brother was born, or when my sister got married, or when my nieces were born. They remind me how much I or significant people in my life have changed. When I look back at the pictures now, sometimes I laugh to myself, sometimes I am amazed, because I am no longer the way I used to be. For example, I did have a short temper right until I was in my early 20’s. But I have “calmed down” since then. Yet, it’s strange how one small photo of me at such a young age can have so much predicting power by capturing an enduring aspect of my personality.

I think it is interesting to note that photographs emphasize positive communication. Rarely do you see pictures in photo albums which document upsetting incidents and evoke painful memories. Photographs usually capture happy moments in a person’s life. In that sense, they do not accurately reflect a person’s history. No one develops in isolation of negativism.

My parents have hundreds of photos of me, my brother, and my sister. Certainly that influenced me in developing my own love for photographs. I have hundreds of photos taken of my life since I moved out on my own. And I know I will continue to collect these visual representatives of myself, simply because it is fun to document and observe how I am still changing and developing.