Ok this has nothing to do with the title, I just looked out the window, it is raining and the water is streaming down the window, which reminded me of the title of one of his albums, “Black Sheets of Rain”
I do not know the exact date of this photo, probably 2004 ish, it was taken at my grandfather Lorin’s funeral in Idaho, either Firth or Shelly, South Eastern part of the state. He died a few weeks after my grandmother, Virginia, died from a sudden onset of leukemia.
I was able to visit my grandmother when she feel ill, and did not know, and feel terrible to this day, that she would die a few hours after I had to return to San Francisco. Just before I had to leave she grabbed my hand, pulled me closer to her and said in a shaky voice “Thor, I am scared.” I know she was in a lot of pain and was on some pretty strong pain medicine, but there was absolute clarity in what she was feeling. I do not know if she was scared because of the pain, the unknown (she had a strong religious belief, and know that was a comfort to her and my family, and me, even though I do not share that belief), or what I think was most likely causing a lot of her fear was leaving behind the people, especially my grandfather, and land she loved. My grandfather sat is his favorite chair, with his dog on his lap, surrounded by people who loved him, staring out the window. He was not one to talk much, but was unusually quiet that day. I was tempted to, but did not, take any photos on that trip. I could not hide from this experience. When my kids went with me to my grandfather’s funeral I took photos of them, only to remind me how happy I was to be able to be there, and have them with me.
I knew I would never see her again, and when I got the call a few hours later as I was driving back to Salt Lake City to get the flight back home, all I could do was say I was sorry that I had left. No one blames me for leaving, other than myself, but what could I have done, I could not stop what was going on, I have no magic words to make everyone feel better, I was there, until I wasn’t.
How did this post become so depressing, the photo of my children is a happy memory, but like all memories there is of sadness at its core.
Sadness and pride and happiness and terror and joy and love and fear and confusion and excitement and dread and a whole bunch of other feelings that are hard to put into words, that they are about to graduate from high school and the massive change we are about to undertake.
Sadness, to me, is pretty much the same as happiness somehow (although I prefer happiness) and that is why I am a photographer.