Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dear Friends


Tonight I was going through some old photos of my dear friends, Cora and Susie, a pair of sisters I met one Spring day in 2007 trawling the back roads of Appalachia Kentucky looking for an ACP workshop story. I saw these two beautiful wrinkled old women working their garden and stopped to sit and shoot the breeze and that day marked the beginning of our beautiful friendship and my two year documentary of their extraordinary lives. As I looked through the photos I felt a profound sense of loss as if their beautiful faces were no longer around to shine kindness in my direction and would never have another photographed taken of them. They were inching closer to 90 years old when I left and a part of me knew I would never see them again, but I never wanted to think it. I wonder if I remembered to tell them how special they were to me and how much taking me in like an odd stray bird and treating me like a daughter meant to me. I am so honored that our lives touched for such a brief moment and so happy that I could share their world for such a short time. But I will miss these two incredible women. Women whose hand's felt like the work roughened ones that took mine in Indonesia and whose rusty voice that told me stories sounded like that of my Korean grandmother. Whose wrinkles creased with tears and sun were just the story lines of a life well lived like those I saw on the faces of the Nepali Sherpas. Feeling their loss made me think about death and how it's something that we never seem comfortable with as humans. I know it's because it's so final, it's The End, but you would think that like a good ending to a great book it would leave us with a feeling of peace and acceptance of this cycle that is life. But it never feels like peace does it? A part of me recognizes that it is the impermanence of life that makes it so special, that reminds us to revel in every moment and yet I fight against the very thing that makes this world so painfully beautiful. A good friend of mine said something that I thought was profound,
"If everything lasted forever, experiencing it would be meaningless."-AH
I hope to someday be comfortable enough with death and my own decay to cheer a beautiful well lived life and to accept death as a natural process, as natural as being born...

1 comment:

Photographer Alton Strupp I The Blog said...

Beautiful. The photos. The writing. Love.

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