AKA Abraham Bacoln

My mother’s hands
December 29, 2006, 6:50 pm
Filed under: tidbit

It’s a strange feeling when something you do regularly, something you do for fun, turns unexpected and affects you more than you intended.

I received a new lens for Christmas and I spent a good portion of the day shooting pics like crazy just trying to get a feel for it. I haven’t checked how many pictures I took, but it was definitely more than necessary.

I shot the tree, I shot the examination of gifts, and I stood there and documented every step while my mother made her pecan pie. I took pictures of everything.

When I finally got home and reviewed my pictures, the one of Mom’s hands holding the eggs caught me by surprise. I actually had to skip over it because I was confused by what I was feeling, didn’t know how to deal with it. I left it alone for a day or so.

I finally went back and took a long look at it. It’s a spur of the moment capture – she just held out the eggs for a second, I snapped, we went on in our conversation and pie-making. It wasn’t posed in the traditional sense, I didn’t ask her to hold them a certain way. It was just in the moment.

The more I looked at it the more I realized I’d reached a new thing, a new place. I was looking at a picture that actually moved me – one of my pictures. That had never happened to me before. The emotions were what confused me the first time I saw it. I’m used to making images, some kind of tiny art perhaps, not feelings.

I have memories of being a child and sitting in church, not listening to the sermon, just holding Mom’s hand, looking at it, feeling how soft her skin was. It wasn’t so much thoughts of “these are the hands that cook for me, that comfort me, that put on the bandages when I scrape my leg,” but more strange realization of detail, how just one part of the human body can sum up the whole of what they mean to you.

This picture just made me realize that I hadn’t really looked at my mom’s hands in forever. It made me remember what it was like to be a kid. It made me think about who my mom is, and how much she means to me.

Somehow this picture just says more to me about my mother than any portrait ever could. I never expected to do this to myself. I could never have set out to do it on purpose.

I’m grateful that it happened the way it did.

3 Comments so far
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Kevin, I was moved by this photo when I first saw it, too, and almost commented to ask whose hands they were…wondering if they were your mom’s. It is a beautiful photo, as so many of your photos are, but I was also touched by it. I was also touched by your memories of your mom’s hands when you were a child in church, and have similar memories of my mom’s hands. Thank you for being you!

Comment by Kelly Piepmeier

I really like this post. Love the photo. Definitely an image to treasure.

Comment by Rebecca

Hi there. You don’t know me, I somehow ended up at your blog through Eric’s blog and being that it’s a Monday and I’m at work and wanting to do anything besides work…I have creepily been reading stranger’s blogs. I just wanted to say that this post has made me more emotional than I want to be at work. lol. Thank you for typing something so moving and touching. It really is an amazing picture. You’re mother must be so proud. THANKS!! 🙂

Comment by Faith

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