Siren Whispers

Siren Song


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Photographs

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Photographs tell stories, at least to me they do. They have always been the way I’ve captured memories to revisit at a later time, to share with those who’ve been absent. They have told the stories of what I have loved and who I have loved.

I’ve been photographing everything around me from a young age. When I had children, this increased exponentially, suddenly the camera was always in use as I captured every moment, every first.

But what do you do when you must put those photographs away, pretend like they don’t exist? How do you bury reminders of a past, of memories that are still ripe and sweet, years later? How do you do this when keeping them out are constant reminders to someone of a past they want to forget? Of a person they no longer are, outwardly? How do you expunge those years, and should you?

Some things can’t be forgotten.

I wrestle with this. On the one hand I want to be sensitive, these photographs remind them of who they no longer are, but on the other hand these same photographs remind me of a happier time, when the future was bright and hopeful. They are not only a tangible reminder of the past but they are a part of me. I am the photographer. I am the mother. In this case, I am the creator of both art and life.

I’ve tried my best as a mother: to provide understanding and support, to teach them the skills necessary to navigate life, and to be more resilient, but above all I have tried to show them how loved they are. Unconditionally.

Sometimes this falls short, no matter my motivation, no matter my actions.

As a parent you put your child’s needs ahead of your own, but sometimes your needs and theirs are at war. As it is for me now. I have robust memories, with many of them being photographic, and now I must put those away and with them a part of myself. At times it feels like one more piece of me is being buried and I cannot breathe. I am banging my fists against the lid but no one hears my cries.

The photographs are the latest in a line of things that I have had to turn my back on. I am not prone to pity parties but I grieve, oh do I grieve.

Some might think this is selfish, to feel this way about photographs, but it is really about more than captured images. It’s about forgetting 15 years of a life. It’s about surreptitiously reliving them. It is what I struggle with. It’s not that I am not thankful for what I have, but it is a loss and as such it behaves like the tides, ebbing and flowing, but never ceasing.

The changes wrought are incalculable. I grieve for the past and for the future. There will be things I will never experience and things I experience but in a way that is more challenging and isolating than I ever anticipated. This truly is a matter of only understanding if you walk in my shoes.

But these are small things and, in some cases, future things.

We adjust as we go along. Tentative steps taken, often with a heart that aches with loss but also one that feels a modicum of joy as things align. It is the past that is rearing its ugly head. As we go forward into this new life I am no longer allowed to revel in those memories. I must be secretive about the happiness I felt because it makes someone I love uncomfortable.

It’s the latest of cuts, and probably the deepest, and I feel as though I am bleeding out. How much can I lose and do I have the right to feel this grief when it’s not my life that will be challenging?

I don’t know the answer to that. I’m just searching for something to staunch the flow of blood.

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Copyright ©SirenSong1208

All rights reserved.

Photograph taken from Tumblr, source unknown


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That first face

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She was the first face I saw.

I fell in love

But didn’t know it.

Those hazel eyes gazing down at me

Soothing my abrupt entrance

Into a much colder world

Than the one I had existed in

For months.

I quickly came to realize

That she was my world.

Her beloved countenance

Changing over the years

But always

Full of love

Full of pride.

She has been

My teacher

My cheerleader

My taskmaster

My confidante.

Providing an example

Of what to strive for

Being supportive of the choices I made

Even ones that she knew would hurt me

Assuring me

That kindness doesn’t make one weak

And always making it clear

That the world was my oyster

That I alone could make my world

What I wished it to be.

I have been so lucky

To have had such a wonderful person

To guide my days

To know unconditional love and acceptance.

Recently I was reminded of a song

That was always hers and mine.

My mother

My friend.

You and me against the world.

A mother’s love

A sacred thing.

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*I’ve posted this multiple times but on this day, the birthday of the most amazing and loving person that I know, I felt it fitting. Happy 90th birthday Mom.

Copyright ©SirenSong1208

All rights reserved.

Photo taken from Pinterest, unsourced


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Museum of my heart

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The museum of my heart is full of rooms

that describe me

but do not define me.

Walls painted with joy and pain.

Hung with the memories

of family and friends and lovers.

Floors set with mistakes and successes

Ceilings lit with laughter and love.

This museum of my heart is not a place of glass cases,

where you look but do not touch.

It is a place of discovery,

where every corner is interactive

and rooms are added

continuously.

A growing archive

to how deeply I live

and to how profoundly I love.

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Copyright ©SirenSong1208

All rights reserved.

Photograph taken from Tumblr, unsourced


4 Comments

Blood and beauty

Blood and beauty

and how we fall

with the jagged edges of life

softened with love

or meticulously opening

a vein

leaving us ashen

with blood loss

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Copyright ©SirenSong1208

All rights reserved.

Photograph taken from Tumblr, unsourced.


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A kiss away

The task, as she sees it,

is to rename,

to redefine

all she knows of love.

Where once she bled 

profusely

from the blithe cuts given to her heart and soul,

she needs no bandage in this,

her new reality

where she chooses the meaning for words

that have lost their luster,

words that never meant what they should have.

Transformation is a kiss away

and the eyes she needs to see her

are his.

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Copyright © SirenSong1208

All rights reserved

Photograph taken from Pinterest, unsourced


5 Comments

Dad

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Our time together ended much too soon.

You were always there for me,

a strong, silent presence

protecting me

teaching me.

I was the little girl you had dreamed of and wanted for so long.

Your constant shadow when I was small.

I treasure the childhood I had,

the unconditional love and acceptance that helped mould me

into the woman I am today.

The belief in me that helped me see 

that I could do whatever I set my mind to.

But it was when I was an adult

that our relationship really bloomed and flourished.

My growing knowledge and experience

solidifying an already loving relationship with mutual respect.

I miss you every day now that you are gone.

So much of my life you have not shared in,

except in my whispers.

I love you Dad.

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Copyright © SirenSong1208

All rights reserved

Photo taken from Pinterest, unsourced.

*More than twenty years gone from this Earth but not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and imagine the conversations we would now have, the grandchildren who only know him by picture and my memories, and how I still, even after all this time, can remember his smile and his hugs and miss him all over again.

Those we love are in our hearts every day but for those we have lost the days that we would have officially celebrated them can be some of the most poignant. Happy Birthday Dad. xoxo


6 Comments

Letting go

Letting go isn’t giving up. It isn’t failing. It’s making an investment in your future. But we get stuck, do we ever. We cling to that which isn’t making us better, or whole. We do this because we still love the other person, or we’re scared, or nostalgic, or stubborn, or many other reasons. The why isn’t important, it’s what you do after you understand the why that matters.

It takes enormous effort to make that decision, to take those first steps and embark upon that path. But once you get over the pain of ripping off the band aids you have painstakingly applied for years, it becomes freeing. And that is a surprise itself.

Amid the pain and sadness, and yes, grieving, there is a lightness. Perhaps it is confidence that the right decision has been made, or maybe it’s because we are no longer in limbo. Going through each day, seeing a very different future on the horizon, but taking no steps toward it weighed us down. Our progress was inhibited. There was no forward momentum. When you are stuck like that, feelings fester and feel tight beneath the skin.

Letting go is hard and often it is a decision you know must be made, but reconciling heart and head can take time. We step around the minefields, we navigate our pain, until we know we are strong enough to tackle it head on. And when that happens, we loosen the tether that has held us in place, that has kept us from living our lives fully. There is a freedom in realizing and believing that within every ending is a new beginning.

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Copyright © SirenSong1208

All rights reserved

Photograph by Manon Rousseau (edited)