Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coming Home

I always found myself a bit of an outsider growing up here, because I thought differently than others. Had answers that didn't fit into the multiple choice circles "A, B, C D or E " in a town that didn't think outside of the Scantron form. I arrived with 6B pencils to tests that were unreadable without a No 2.

Now I find myself climbing into exactly where I want to be by thinking even more differently. Waving my 6B's like flying flags and creeping into new and overlooked niches that hold the possibility for success and professional development. Meeting and connecting, with friends because of who I am and because I finally dare to shout my differences from the roof top. I raise my hand in the proverbial classroom of life and am proud that I don't have the right answer. That I have a new answer, one that instead of blushing from embarrassment and snickers of classmates, I am instead being met with applause from friends that are finally raising their hands, too.  Getting the answers, to which there are no questions and the questions to which there are no answers, wrong. All wrong. And in that, all right.


It always takes coming back home for me. Being all grown up in my childhood home. Alice in Wonderland. One leg hanging out of my old bedroom window and the other out of the basement door I snuck boys into and out of as a teen. Head still stuck out of the roof and into the clouds.  I'm reminded of what I always wanted out of life and now I've not only got it, but I've brought most of it home with me.


I'm spending two weeks at my parents house in my childhood home in Cheney, Washington.

I've brought the kids and my cameras. I had to leave Paul at home to work.

I miss him more when I am here than nearly anywhere I am without him.

I never felt I belonged here until I first brought him home with me seven years after I'd been gone, and come home, and gone again. Like we all do looking for answers we think we left behind. Then Cheney with Paul all made sense, and it becomes clearer each time.

Our childhoods are meant to mold us, to torment us and to drive us in and out of places that are too small and into places that are too big until we find just the right chair or bed or meal, like Goldilocks. Only to be awoken to find out it isn't our chair and we move on again. Only we know how to move on now.

These are the worlds created for us by our parents, the very parents we are now. Ourselves, on vacations just like this. Dragging our children to our old haunts, our old homes and Zips, of course Zips. Winding us all up like kitties with strings throughout the world so that they can follow their paths later to rewind the skein. Remember the twists and turns, the slips under the fence, the jumps over the fountains and spins on tilt-a-whirls that shook us all up to nausea, only to leave us to settle back in those same places.

As I wandered through Riverpark square this morning taking pictures of the kids marveling at the obedience of baby ducks, being handed balloon swords by a homeless clown and resting in the shade at during the off-hours of a carnival, just beside an out-of-service tilt-a-whirl, I rolled more of my yarn about the rest of the loosly rewound skeine and the kids unwound some more of theirs.

As I photograph my kids in the same places I frequented in my youth, there is a great clarity to the head spinning fog of my memories here. Greater understanding of my years spent here in perpetual disconnect, seem to connect now. This place was never worth a snapshot as a kid, now it is a very important chapter in the story of my life.

I hope that even thought the fuzzy memories of spinning dizzily on the carousel will bring my kids back here some day, wether or not they have family here to visit. I hope they come in search of answers in their life and realize the importance of the path that was laid for them here.

 For more snapshots from our days, follow me on Instagram here. For images in film from our adventures, check back here and on my website here.

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