Monday, May 10, 2010
South Dakota, 1986 - A Mother's Day Remembrance
I've posted this image before but it took on a special importance for me this week. On Saturday I went to the framers and picked it up. The guy at the store asked me how I'd photoshopped it. I told him that this was the way it came out. I told him that photoshop didn't exist when I took this picture. I think he had a hard time believing me.
Though I took the picture almost a quarter of a century ago, I never got it framed until recently. That is because this picture has always belonged to Kate. I was seven months pregnant when I took it. I was at my friend, Dan O'Brien's ranch. It was late October. A golden afternoon with a big threatening sky. This would be my last solo journey before my daughter was born. And I would be a single parent for almost two years.
So this was a moment of solitude and beauty. There was something about the way Blackie looked at me. The way he too was alone in that field. Alone in a very big way in the world. I felt that aloneness too. I took the picture, went back to New York, and had my daughter.
I gave her this print a long time ago, but for one reason or another didn't get around to framing it until last month. Now she lives in a small apartment in our house. On Mother's Day I gave this to her. I thought of all the places where I'd been. And where I'd come. Where we both were.
My life - the life of any mother - is completely different before we have a child. And completely different afterwards. It is definitely not for everyone. I recall a friend warning me not to have a child. "It will change everything," she said. "Your life will never be your own again."
This is true and I know it. And this picture - this big sky and golden sun, the black horse alone in the field - reminds me of what life was before and what it is now. Yesterday for example instead of spending the day on the prairie in South Dakota, I spent it at Ikea.
These are just two different places at two different times. And I wouldn't trade either for the world.