Past lives are real. I have had several: in one, I was a gymnast who longed to be Nadia Comaneci. In another, I was a dancer, as well as a student. I was a poet for a while. I have been a Londoner, a New Yorker, the wife of a Wall Street Lawyer. All of them came to an end, and each ending was like a little death, although some of them were slow and natural and therefore not worth any period of grieving. It’s a lot to have crammed into 40 years, but I’m grateful for every moment.
My newest life finds me knee deep in motherhood. In love. Caught up passionately viewing life through a camera lens, trying valiantly to balance what I would like to do with what I need to do, and what I have to do. I know where I have been, but I don’t know where I am going. More than ever, however, I know how little it matters to be able to see into the future, and what a waste of precious time it is to even try. The man who holds my heart closely to his own renews my sense of the present daily.
I am here, now. Seeing, now. Over the past year I looked at myself differently; I saw reality reflected back in the mirror: the reality of my own moment. My hands have become my mother’s hands; the lines on my face tell the stories of all my past lives. Recently my daughter asked me if I was young, and I said no, but I am also not old. “You are in the middle. Middle-aged.” Middle. I hope I am not yet at the middle of my life; I would like the middle to be a few years to come yet, but that isn’t up to me, so I will make the most of now.
All photographs made during the past year, my 40th.