About the time my son was born, 10 years ago now, I succumbed to family pressure to do something about my mother. That something was to move her out of her home in Fresno, where she had lived since coming to America 42 years before, and bring her to live here in the Bay Area. I’ll never know whether it was the right thing to do. There probably is no fact of the matter that would make it right or wrong. It was just one possible thread rather than another.
Four years ago, we moved mother again. This time, from independence in her apartment to dependence and supervision in a board and care home.
During the subsequent dissolving of an internally coherent jumble of artifacts and ephemera, I endeavored to document each particle, every trivial item, every talisman of personal narrative, before casting it into nothingness.
Occasionally, some string is needed to secure a package, or truss a chicken, or tie the current moment to a memory. And to another. And another still. But for some, there is no need anymore. Not now. Untied, memories spill to the floor and are lost. Those that remain come and go as they wish, masquerading as experiences, unstuck in time.
White Front closed its doors in 1975.
I visited my mother at her care facility this morning. This Valiant and I, we were born the same year.
If I had not stopped to shoot the almond blossoms, we would not have been stuck waiting for the train.
Well, the original shot was just not sitting right with me. I cropped it a bit. I feel better now. At least for the moment.