Friday, July 8, 2011

Rodney Bay

Last month, in my mother's house in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, I found myself taking note of everything, mentally recording the objects I grew up with, photographs I was so familiar with I barely saw them, stacked lovingly on every surface, in every room, amid artifacts gathered over the course of a life. This is the house where my parents were last together and where my father died. This is the house where my children spent every August with their grandmother until my son went to college, where the beach is steps down the road, and the salty sea air kisses you awake each morning, and lulls you to sleep at night. There are memories in every corner of this house, the best. The best.


  1., this brings back memories of summers in Puerto Rico at my cousin's house in Ponce.

    Really loving that next to last picture, the one of the mirror and reflection. Past and present all there.

  2. A lovely tour, a sneak-peak. Thanks!

  3. I love your photo montages -- this one is so beautiful and evocative --

  4. thank you so much, angella. how is it possible that you can instill nostalgia in me for someone else's life? some of these photographs are just knockouts; as yolie says, the mirror, in particular, and also the still life of the 2 chairs at the dining table.

  5. Such beautiful memories and I love how you Mother surrounds herself with them. I will probably(hopefully) be the same way. With all the children that I have and the more that I want, I'm building myself up for a lot of separation and loss one day. I really do try to live in the present.
    Your Friend, m.
    p.s. the painting of the mother and boy, does it have a history? m.

  6. Yolie, there's something about Caribbean summers that is universal to all who experience it, especially any child. The look, the smells, the feel of the air. And the surfaces crowded with family photos too!

    T, it's always good to see you.

    Elizabeth, i appreciate your appreciating and I so appreciate you.

    A, nice to see you again. Hope you're well.

    Susan, nostalgia for someone else's life? ah, i think i feel it all the time! but i think it is nostalgia for an imagined life, because doesn't each life hold some of the things we wish we could escape in our own? You remind of me of something my mom used to quote to us growing up, from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (i looked it up to get it right, and to tell the truth, I always thought it was from Shakespeare. Maybe my mother thought so too.):

    Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
    Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
    Thy fate is the common fate of all,
    Into each life some rain must fall...

  7. Mark, you sure are taking some beautiful photographs of your kids, and you may have enough of them that there will always be one or two coming or going at home. And living in the present is the advice of the gurus, so you're ahead of the game.

    As for that painting, there is a story, a small one. I am the artist. I did it freshman year in college, when I was still a studio art major, before I switched to be an English and writing major. I gave it to my parents as a Christmas present that year and they've had it on their wall since. I think I will go back to painting soon. I think that might be as good a strategy for dealing with separation as living in the present!

    love to you, my friend.

  8. Susan, on second thought, I am sure my mother knew the source of that quote. She has been a lifelong reader of poetry. It is I, the English major, who had it wrong!

  9. Yes. I am nostalgic for a life I never dreamed. And you painted that picture? Your gifts are a thousand-fold.

  10. Aaaahh. This is where YOU'RE from. Beautiful.

  11. Images are worth a thousand words. My son and I were chatting over dinner this past week when he told me he thought Bob Marley did more to change our society for the better than anyone else. Interesting. I can almost feel that warm salt air through your post......

  12. Thank you, love. These photos are so full of richness and beauty. Your mom, resting on the bed with her reflection in the mirror, that whole scene caused an enormous lump in my throat. And the wedding picture of you and your husband...Do you realize how much your daughter looks like you?

    This window into who you have been and who you now are is priceless.

    Love you, friend.

  13. You're the Artist? Amazing! Isn't it funny that I could pick out something that "you" created. m.

  14. Oh, these photos are so poignant and lovely. I especially love the one of your mother in the mirror, lying on the bed. I would love to take similar photos of my mother's home, you have inspired me.

    I am so impressed with the painting, I hope that returning to that art brings you joy and peace, and I also hope you share your work with us.

    Love to you and your beautiful family, Angella!