You didn’t know
I would pull you
from the grave
and hold you so close,
but neither did I…
and now here you are
your blood in my veins
a face in the mirror
that is not me,
a mysterious fusion
forged ever so lovingly
because I still believe in you.
Imagine the place
where miracles are born
of hearts and desires
and the alchemy of the impossible
is made tangible to the soul.
The more I work on the Mixed States project, the more I feel connected to my father, who was lost to me in a fatal car accident when I was only five years old. After his passing I was not permitted to grieve, and for fifty years it was drilled into my head that he was nothing but an asshole. This was difficult for me to reconcile because I was his only daughter— daddy’s little girl—and in 1963 he was frozen forever in my mind as a god on a pedestal. A wise person recently suggested that [in order to resolve conflicting stories and feelings] I needed to learn who my father really was—not the god, not the supposed asshole—but the human being inside the man.
What I’ve learned so far is that he was very generous, affectionate, a great storyteller, and a gifted artist. He liked to travel and read, and always kept a dictionary beside his bed. He loved new gadgets and cameras, and his boundless passion for knowledge required a serious investment—a twenty-four volume, leather-bound, hardcover set of the 14th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1962). I just know my dad would have loved today’s gadgets, Google, and especially the work that I do! I’d like to think that he would have been proud of me.
The Mixed States project is turning out to be much more than I had anticipated. Today I ran the first generation double-exposures through additional processing, which has transformed the images even further. Unexpectedly, it gave the feeling that I was melding my father even deeper into myself, thus the Beyond the Grave idea and the poem above. Although this journey is intensely personal, I can only hope that my work resonates with some of you out there. ❤
6 thoughts on “Beyond the Grave”
This is amazing Michelle. You are doing a great job with your artistic abilities. I bet both your parents would be so proud of you. Heck,..I’m proud just to know ya. Keep up the good work and keep doing what you like to do. lucky you, squishes, j
Thanks so much for the kind words, Jocelyne! My mother has openly declared that she doesn’t like my work (back when I was painting)… she still dismisses everything I do… but I know in my heart that my dad would have been behind me 100%.
Hi Michelle, You are incredible. I love the poem and the pictures. It really touched me. I love your work. I am so so proud to know you.
Thanks so much, Brenda, and thank you for taking an interest in my work! It means a lot old friend. I was a lost child for so many years… the thing is… people judge and put you in a box, frozen forever… especially the ones that didn’t even know you. (I’m thinking Timmins several decades ago.) Anyway… growth and enduring friendships over a lifetime is a beautiful thing. ❤
Your poem is beautiful Michelle.
Thank you, Howard. Your words mean a lot!!