Wonderment: where it begins.

My second-oldest brother, Tony, recently asked Sarah to be his bride, and I couldn’t be happier for them both.

Sarah’s parents and our parents met for the first time at our parents’ house in Port Townsend the other weekend and the ‘how we met’ stories were shared (so I hear. I drove over for dinner with everyone the following day – I missed them, the stories!)

Tony and Sarah are planning two weddings: a winter wedding in Sagada, the mountain province in the Philippines where our mom is from, and a summer wedding at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. To better prep Sarah for her Philippino wedding, we whipped out photos from Wylie and Vickie’s Sagada wedding (our oldest brother and sister-in-law), who consequently had a Sagada wedding and on the same day that Tony and Sarah will tie the knot!

Years ago, I remember looking through a photo album of old black-and-white shots of when Mom and Dad first met, so while Tony, Sarah, and Sarah’s parents perused the wedding photos, I moved furniture away from the doors to the enormous ‘photo’ closet in the TV room to hunt down the album. I didn’t find it. I found something better: photos from Mom and Dad’s courtship in Sagada when Dad was in the Peace Corps, photos and a newspaper clipping of their wedding (“US Volunteer Pick Sagada Lass for Bride”), snapshots of the beginning of their lives together when Dad stole Mom away to the US, and photos of Mom’s parents.

It’s difficult to imagine what your parents’ lives looked like before you were born. It’s impossible to know how they interacted as young 20-somethings, or what their day-to-day lives were like. This is one of the reasons I am enamored by photographs. They capture visual snippets of history that can never otherwise be seen or experienced again.

Looking through the photos of Mom and Dad, I feel like I learned more about who they are, or, at least, who they were as young adults, and I realize that we have more in common than I was aware. I mean, look at all the photos of Dad with a camera! And, as I was telling Jake the other day, “my mom looks so much like me!” To which he responded, “Uh, I think it’s actually the other way around.”

As we peered closely through pages of faded photos, I couldn’t help but recognize that Tony and Sarah are at about that time in their lives – they’re at the beginning of their togetherness. They’ll have their own album, too. And it will hold photos for their future kids to some day page through in wonderment.

You can view the photo set here.

Pocketing seashells.

 

Some songs come from such a raw and tender place that they write themselves.  This, for me, is one of those songs.

 

Written, performed, recorded & mixed by Odawni AJ Palmer.
Photograph taken and developed by Odawni AJ Palmer.
Copywrite 2010.

 

:: Lyrics ::

Fear capsized this ship
into a black ocean
and the ocean swallowed me whole.
Under the waves
I’ve seen so many things,
so many things.

I’ve been pocketing seashells
wanting to share them with you,
share them with you.

“It’s too late”, he said,
“the damage is done.”
The damage,
the damage is done.
Is done.
Is done.
Is done.

 

First time, every time is a.

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First time, every time is a.*
Georgetown and Sodo
Seattle, WA
Spring Quarter, 2010

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Sunday, 6.20.10
(Bothell, WA)

Habits are tasks, repeated.
Over and over, we
get groceries.  Browse, pick, purchase.
Bag, store, squeeze, peel,
slice, simmer, taste.
Bed sheets unfolding//folding//unfolding.
Make bed, unmake bed:
laying, sweating, sleeping, laying,
kissing.
Alarm — alarm set, snooze.  Snooze……
……..      snooze.shit.

Habits are patterns we weave.
In to muscle-memory.
Interrupted regularly by the first times.
Instant and incident, instants and change
happens.

Again. and over again.

Every first time.

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*These are images from my first self-processed collection of photographs.  I made each photo using a black and white film camera while taking an introductory photography class.  They are from a roll of film I developed and scanned at the Shoreline Community College photo lab.  This is the first and only roll of film I have developed, and sure to not be the last.

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Featured artist :: Noah and the Whale