I cannot stress how much I value the family I have.
Were it not for the amount of family I have, I would probably be off-the-edge and not at a sane enough level to even have a blog. Some might say that that could only be a good thing, while others (likely to be very few in number) are probably of the feeling that my writings give them that hit off of the insanity mark when reading it so that they don’t need to whack out just for the cause.
Regardless, I cannot stress the importance of family.
It warms my heart when I see those I love, no matter how irritating they can be from time to time. Hey, we can all be irritating, eh?! I know I’m irritating even when I’m sleeping. I imagine I piss the hell out of my subconscious which probably explains why I so rarely get sex dreams.
Between my brother, my mum, my dad, my grandmothers on each side, my grandaunt, my aunts, my cat, and any friend I’ve ever let in close enough to be called family (this means you Dee, Ferdie, Stubbsy and a few more people I can’t think of immediately because I need sleep), I value the importance of family and will defend my family from… well… I don’t know where I was going with this one, but you get the point.
This week, my grandaunt had a birthday. I imagine that it’s a pretty special thing to have a birthday when you’re over eighty. It’s a pretty special thing to have a birthday when you’re five or fifteen or twenty-five or fifty, but there’s a different sort of feeling and expectation I imagine when you’re over the age of eighty.
It’s one of those things where you can look back on your life and see how much you’ve done. You can look back and celebrate with those that have not so much come this far with you, but who you have seen grow from an embryo or an infant to a full grown adult, and when you celebrate with them you see how much each of you values each other because you’re there for each other.
Plus there’s presents.
And as it’s not very easy to find something for our grandaunt, this year she got an electric typewriter.
Teaching someone how to use an electric typewriter can be frustrating, but Michael — my brother — ended up showing her fairly well, even if there were a few bumps and niggles along the way.
I took photos the entire time. I’m not sure why… I imagine I did because it’s what I do. I’m a photographer. That said, some of the resulting images are interesting on their own merit because of how interesting it is seeing the relationship between a grandnephew and the relative learning from one another. And then they’re interesting because of the way the light dances over their faces, the way the shading feels… they have a very nice artistic black & white quality to them… even when they’re in colour.
We ate some dinner and had some cake and we talked and Mike and I basically had typewriter battles where Mike would type something ridiculously silly about me and then I’d read it out in a bad Sean Connery impersonation voice.
Actually, now that I think of it, it wasn’t really a typewriter battle at all. It was more of two brothers behaving like brothers when they’ve found a new toy to play with. In this case, we’d found something that allowed us to be creative in a literal sense, even if the toy wasn’t ours.
Mum’s not really angry or depressed or anything in that photo above. She’s tired. I can relate, actually, with it being 6.15 in the morning and me needing to go to bed.
That afternoon, my brother and my Mum were both tired, and after taking some family pictures, it was time to say goodbye.
I’d originally brought the camera with so I could take pictures of my family. I felt that — before I left — it would be a good thing to do. It would be nice to just have some good pictures of our family… of my family… where they were just being themselves and not posing for the camera.
When you pose for the camera, you lose the intimacy and you lose the true nature of the individual you photograph… and that’s a shame… especially when it’s family.
And the intimacy and true nature of family is something you never want to lose. It’s a part of them that you should always be able to find an image that you plan to look back on in a few years to be able to help you to remember who it was that you took the time to take a photo of.