Although this image is of the outtake variety, there is something about it that I like. It feels to me like an honest depiction of the complex relationship between mothers and daughters. “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother”, Robin Williams was quoted as saying, and there is something about the nature of these intense relationships that is just so infuriatingly compelling, messy, and necessary. We look to our mothers for guidance as to how to grow into women, while at the same time resenting their intrusion when they attempt to mold us into their likeliness.
I am just a couple of years away from the age that my mother was when she passed away, and this is having a profound effect on me. I no longer have a roadmap for navigating into the next stage of life and find it nearly impossible to envision myself at an age beyond that which my mother lived. I’ve read that this is a common trait among motherless daughters, and yet it offers no solace. I feel rudderless and quite honestly adrift a good deal of the time. I remember thinking at the time of her passing that I would use this loss as a catalyst to become a better person. Some days I believe this, and other days the loss just feels like loss and nothing more.
I do know that observing the dynamics of mother and daughter relationships through the lens of my camera is cathartic, and helps me to remember something that I fear is fading away. The way that she saw me as beautiful, complicated, capable, and hopelessly flawed perfection must still exist somewhere, even if I’ve lost direct access to it.