My fridge is papered with photos of family and friends, literally papered. There are also my niece and nephews drawings and colourings, and a fridge farm, that sometimes randomly makes farm animal sounds for no reason when I am home alone, enjoying a quiet activity. The sound makes me jump.
I open the fridge, close the fridge, many times a day, but I don't always "see" the photos.
They are there, part of the 'wallpaper'. But they are organic to me, they live, they breathe, they tell a story.
Here is one of my sister and L., taken, I know, by me, in my condo, in 2007. My sister looks lush and calm, despite the recent birth of her second child, and the turbulence in her life surrounding that time. My friend L. looks radiant and healthy (she is), and they both exude a confidence even though we don't know what's coming next.
I have many pictures of my niece and nephew, especially the Christmas postcards my sister sends out each year--you can see them growing up in the photos, getting more hair, growing taller, smiling wider, the camera beginning to mean something.
I have photos of my own friends--here we are at a wedding shower, it's summer, we are tanned, wearing tiny tops and skirts, our nails are all done. L. is holding my tarot cards in her hands in this photo.
I have one of my family, just the four of us, taken on the cement steps of the townhouse we called home for so many years. My sister is in a baby seat, she's about six months old. I am two, standing beside my mother, in a bikini-type outfit; it is summer in this photo too. My 26 or 27-year-old Dad is looking lovingly at my sister, smiling at her baby antics, her hand reaching for his. My mother is looking lovingly at him, her face straight to the camera, but her eyes glued on him. What is she looking to him for? Reassurance maybe. In this photo, my mother has a shock of white hair, and two tiny daughters. Her own mother has just died, a few weeks before this photo was taken, and yet she pulled it together. She looks happy, if a little trepidatious.
It was this photo I took down off the fridge last night, to hold, and to look at a little closer.
To cry over.