This is a guest blog by Leah Cloe from Luluslantern, check out her great blog at http://luluslantern.blogspot.co.uk
Home is Where the Heart Is
Experiencing a sudden change of your circumstances is a prime opportunity to remember your roots. Who we are in the present is a reflection of the people we have met, the things we have done and choices we have made, but perhaps most importantly; it is a reflection of the people we were raised by.
Entering single life for the first time as an adult recently, the importance of family has taken centre stage in my mind’s eye. Suddenly, the places and people I knew well in my younger days have become even more special. Questions like, ‘Who am I now?’ and ‘Who was I before this?’ are rearing their heads and demanding answers. The rallying round of family during a personal crisis is wonderful in its own right for talking and thrashing out those issues, regardless of whether they find the right words. Most important, perhaps, is that their very presence serves as a vital reminder that you do not exist alone in a vacuum in the world. You come from somewhere, were raised by someone and that family will always be central to the person you are.
Reconnecting with family after a personal change has many tangible benefits for all concerned. The opportunity to open yourself up to them and hear their ideas arises naturally as you converse. The dynamic between you and your family members can change very rapidly. I discovered that my family members had much wisdom to impart, when allowing myself to be vulnerable around them and ideas about how you heal after a break-up were suggested thick and fast. We started having days out together to the country and trying out exercise classes and recipes together. This change in the family dynamic and remembering to value my family more highly has energised me creatively too. As a photographer it helped me to burst through the artist’s equivalent to ‘writer’s block’ that had weighed me down for years. Project ideas have been streaming steadily without having to dig deep for ideas.
I would love to share with you a project that my Grandma helped me to achieve by opening up her house to me for a documentary shoot, during this time of change. My Grandmother is known in the family for holding an abundance of family photos spanning 100 years or more, which we all love to peruse. But it occurred to me recently that her home in itself is a treasure trove of history, telling the story of a family. With revitalised interest in my roots and family background, not to mention my new understanding of my family as individuals, I have been keen to capture these ideas with photography.
The love I have for my large and supportive family will continue to grow and reshape all the time. Home truly is where the heart is.
More of Leah’s photos can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fs924.photobucket.com%2Fuser%2Fluluslantern%2Flibrary%2FGrandmas%2520House&h=MAQH-CsBq