Monday, May 22, 2006

Le Commencement

Because of slavery and poverty, many black people don't have photos of their ancestors beyond one or two generations. I am blessed to come from a family that was rather affluent even during the days when some blacks were still being enslaved in this country. Well, I suppose the fact that not all of my ancestors were black probably played a big role in this too. Nevertheless, as a result of their relatively comfortable lifestyle, many of my ancestors were able to afford to have their pictures taken formally. These photographs were carefully saved and copied (and restored as necessary), so I was able to grow up surrounded by the faces of those who were long gone before I was born.

My mother took photos of us as children and as teenagers and I never gave much thought to why this was important until a few years ago. I wish that I could say that my entire life doesn't revolve around cancer but it does. After I got diagnosed, I started thinking about what my daughter would remember about our time together if I didn't live long enough to see her grow up. I wondered what I could do to help shape her memories even after I'm gone, so I started taking pictures. I started out with a cheap little 35 mm camera and eventually moved my way up to a digital camera.

Since I don't have any training my photos aren't intended to be works of art but, rather, simply snapshots of time--happy times mostly. My main goal is for these pictures to be something that my daughter, VanGoghGirl, can eventually look at and recall how much happiness we managed to have despite the difficulties. Sometimes I like to show these pictures to others, so I decided to start posting them here to make that a lot easier. Since Hurricane Katrina, most of my family remains displaced and this is the easiest way to have them share in the memories even when they aren't physically here with us.

If anyone else happens to stumble onto this site, feel free to take a look around. I think we all have a bit of voyeurism in us and I wouldn't begrudge a stranger their right to be unobtrusively nosey. Feel free to leave comments if you like. I always enjoy hearing from others.


Bent El Neel said...

hey bint
this is such a great idea and your little princess will really appreciate the pix when she's all grown up.

I'm loving your blogs...both of them. God bless you :)

Bint Alshamsa said...

Oh my! I didn't even notice that you had commented on this blog until just now. Thank you so much for visiting. I do believe you are the first person to come here besides myself because I haven't even told anyone about it.

It is quite a blessing to have stumbled across you on blogspot!

God bless you heartily!

nubian said...

i feel like a blog stalker :-)
i enjoyed peeking into your life through your photos. such a beauiful family, and acadienne, such a beautiful tiny baby. i want one sometime soon...

maybe not soon. but in 5 years, or so.

Ishraq (KGB agent) said...

I had to write about fear and if fear really what makes a decent human being, so I was googling and I ended up in your blog somehow! :)
I loved your blogs and also the pix!! you're so beautiful.. I wish u all the best wallah.. :**

god bless ya all! *hugz*


Rainbow Girl said...

What a nice idea for your family-looks like there are some amazing relatives there!

Cheers, best wishes,
Rainbow Girl

Odiero said...

It is good to see how you make good of your life.I came across as iwas looking up obama's life.i wish u good vibes always bye from vienna.