21 March 2012

"Photographing the world, longing for home"

Photographing the World, Longing for Home is the title of an interview I just read about Ed Kashi, who is a very well-known and talented photojournalist. If the title of the article wasn't enough to catch my attention, the first image was, because it reminded me of Pavel's funeral which we will be commemorating this Saturday (a year has passed already. Wow).

This interview and what Mr Kashi has gone through is one of the very reasons (among many others) I have decided against my schools project and why I wish to actually have my own place to call home and a consistent job. Contrary to his work versus mine is he was already an established and well-known photographer before he had his children. He was already fully immersed in his line of work and it was not something that would have been easy for him to just "give up" or "step back" from in order to raise his family. It seem to me it is all he knew so he couldn't just stop. And he didn't. While I am not "well-known" (or even known at all), I do not want to be put in a position where I have to give up my work in order to raise my family. My own family is something I anxiously await to have one day and I am the mother so I would not be able to leave pass on the growing baby in my stomach to my husband to hold on to while I cover a story (although wouldn't that be nice?). I don't want to miss my kids' first baseball game (or any for that matter) or their first steps. I want to be there and I want a job that I know how to do well that can keep me at there. Some people may disagree with me and that's totally fine. Obviously for others it works, but this is not what I want. Not for me.

Here are some quotes pulled from the interview that struck me:

  • My home life weighs on me more than ever. After doing it for so many years, you might think I would become inured. But in fact, I am even more sensitive and troubled by it. My kids are 14 and 17, and they are at the age when I am just realizing I have missed half their lives. It’s not yet goodbye. But they are in their own lives, and they don’t need me as much.
  • [Only being home part of the time] is all [my children] have known. I have literally missed half of their lives. In the last two years, I have been gone eight months each year. You can’t get these things back.
  • I spent more than half my life in hotel rooms alone. There is a loneliness with that, but when I come home, I sometimes feel even more lonely. Even though I am in their physical midst, it becomes so clear how I feel neglected. They are not asking any questions, it’s just like: “Oh, Dad’s home. Bye, I gotta go. I got a date,” or “I am gonna hang with friends,” or “I have a soccer game or a baseball game.”
  • It is very much a fear of ending up alone. And mortality.
  • [My] regret won’t be that [I] didn’t take one extra trip. The regret is that [I] took one too many trips. Or that I missed something.
Photography is something I love and it is something I am sure I will always love. But I need to think about what is important to me and what is important for my future. I can always travel and take my camera with me but, like Mr Kashi said, I can't get back the time I would miss from being away from my family. In the terms of my current life, my family means my dad, sister, aunts, and uncles. Family is the most important thing I have on this planet and and I want to be able to spend more time with them.

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