Looking back


Should I be concerned that I keep looking back ? I keep looking back over my shoulder, I catch the person that I once was. I keep looking back, wanting to be the person in the photograph, not the person that I am now. I want to be the young woman with her first child with all the future before her, all the uncertainty, all the unknown. I want to be the pregnant woman, the stay at home mum. I just stay at home, but there is only the before and after not the in-between. I cannot justify my stay at home status any longer. I am a rubbish house wife anyway. I have absolutely no interest in tidiness or ironing or managing my children’s lives. I am happy that I get to drop them off and pick them up after school. I am happy that they have a parent to come home too. I had my sisters and brothers and the TV and my pets. My parents did come home but not till gone six. I loved the freedom that we had before they arrived back. Lots of toast eating and being slobs, and fitting in the chores at the very last minute before the sound of their key turning in the lock of the door.

I should probably stop looking back. I should stop looking back because Naoise has become obsessed with the grunts of Power Rangers and creating an alternative home  for me and him in Mine Craft and all Syd wants to do is watch the IT Crowd. Too much staring into electronic screens. Its as if I am not here. I am not really here. I am fictional mum, living inside my head not inside the world.


I should stop looking back, but it is part of the process of making my work. I am currently gathering information together to make a film about breastfeeding. I have been drawing together all the images of me breastfeeding both of my children. There are more of Naoise than Syd. There are more of Naoise than Syd because of the readiness of a camera on a mobile phone and because I fed him for twice as long as I did Syd. Syd was such a robust baby, Naoise is an elfen child. They are so different, one brown haired and hazel eyed the other fair haired and blue eyed. They are polar opposites. They fight and scrap like tiger cubs.


The photographs that I am gathering together are simply family photographs, nothing special, just ordinary, is it ok that they become art work, or do I need to do more. Do they need to be transformed and altered. I am not a photographer. I am interested in them, but are they at all interesting to anyone else, to an audience, is all this simply too personal. Where is the art in all of this. Is this just me loosing it ?


I should stop looking back because its contagious. Patrick has started doing it too. He found some old footage on his sky drive, memories hanging around in a digital space somewhere. We were all fascinated by Syd’s long hair and rocking guitar playing, he must have been about eight in the film.

I should stop looking back else I will miss what is happening now. I am not sure if I can stop looking back, there are often flashes, when I read to Naoise, the books that my mum read to me, Where the wild things are, The Magic Fish, Zeraldas Ogre, William the dragon, maybe this is all just nostalgic and sentimental.

I should stop looking back, but there is something that is pulling me there. I should have a look. I want to trace these tracks back to the past. Trace my walk to school as a child. I can do that, I can do that by going on google maps. I had a look at my childhood home in Etwall, the trees in front of the house had changed and there was a new road, a main road running in front. I only got as far as virtually standing outside the house. I stood and looked. I wanted to walk up the drive, climb the steps to the front door and go in. If this was Mine Craft, that would be possible, I wished I could go in and all would be the same as it was when we left. All my parents crazy bold patterned curtains and non existent decor. I don’t remember much wall painting, I think they just moved in and got on with things, home improvement is a modern phenomenon.

I should stop looking back because in the 1970’s we had no central heating, there was no internet,social media, mobile phones and digital cameras to record every moment of life. I liked growing up in the 1970’s there were bin strikes and power cuts and polyester t-shirts and there were places to hide and dens to build, trees to climb and records to buy in Woolworth’s. I should stop because this is becoming nostalgic and sentimental and I am not aloud to talk rubbish and it is almost seven and I should be getting the kids up and making breakfast and rushing my family to school and work.




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