I Wish I Could Remember Their Names   Leave a comment

During my teenage years, I was a regular volunteer at a home for individuals with mental disabilities. My frequent visits formed lasting and trusted friendships. I was especially struck by the warmth and sheer exuberance of each person I met and their willingness to allow me to be a small part of their lives. It was a greater gift given to me than I could have possibly given to them.

These photos are selected from a series of images I took during my many visits. I don’t know that I could have appreciated the depth of the world they each lived in, but these portraits offered me a glimpse into a life that, while troubled and riddled with health related ailments, reflected joy, pain, emptiness and despair. Perhaps some of these emotions were a reflection of my own and not my subjects.

I wish I could remember their names. They left an indelible mark on me and it wasn’t ever lost on me that I live a very blessed life. It is hard for me not to put my own sensibility on the lives they lived in their “home”. Its hard not to reflect on these portraits and pass judgement and it is certainly most difficult to imagine what that life must be like to live. What is not hard to do, is to be touched by the simple, genuinely honest humanity of everyone I met during those formative years of my life.

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