When I dream, I dream of death. But when I’m living my normal, everyday life, it is filled with so much joy. Sometimes I think that I crave darkness because I have so little of it in my life. Maybe my dreams are filled with darkness to balance everything out. From running away from monsters to murderers breaking in to natural disasters and far more gruesome events, my dreams are absolutely riddled with death. But the most interesting thing about it, to me, is that beyond the darkness there is hope. It is sometimes so small and so hard to see, but I always wake up with a sense of beauty and hope.
That is what I would love for my photographs to evoke: darkness and beauty combined.
I was driving one day through a dirt road in a forest with my husband and aunt. She said she thought she saw animal bones, so on our way back through we stopped to look. Sure enough, there was an elk spine on the ground. We took it with us in our car and, after we got a ways on the road home, we realized that it was absolutely covered in maggots…and so was our car. So we rode home the rest of the way, immediately throwing the spine in our front yard when we arrived, and (as anyone would do) started vacuuming the maggots up out of the car. I yelled at everyone not to kill them and to be gentle, and we let them out when we emptied the vacuum. It was a very gross mess of a situation, but we were all laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.
A neighbor had knocked on our door to ask if we were aware we had a spine in our yard. I tried to explain why I put it there, but she simply backed away slowly and I haven’t heard from her since. Fast forward to one year later. The spine was still sitting in my yard. Dogs passing by had moved it around several times but it never went too far. I decided it was finally time to utilize it. I had been hesitant because I honor death so much. I did not want to do anything that wouldn’t live up to the life it had once been a part of. But suddenly one day I decided I had to do something, and so I did.
We are all made of bones, fragile and strong all at once. We are all made of dust.