After my mom died of cancer, I cleaned out her home in Vermont. In
the pockets of her coats, pants, and sweaters, I found twenty-three old, used
tissues. As I extracted the first one from a deep pocket, a flood of warm
memories washed over me and I felt peace. The same tissues that had
disgusted me as a child turned into an unexpected gift. Representing moments
of her daily life, each tissue connected me back to her.
Hidden Folds is a memorial to my mom and to the untold stories that I will
never know. To me, these stories of hers lay hidden in the folds, creases, and
crumples of each tissue. I long to know when and why each one was used and what
she thought as she used it.
This collection was an
unusual inheritance; nobody wanted these tissues but me. Anyone else would have
thrown them away, but these twenty-three tissues have become something that I
need to preserve, protect and discover. I see each tissue as unique like
a fingerprint. Each time I photograph
one, I reach back in time and connect to my mom, I touch something she touched,
and the soft contours of the tissue lessen the permanence of my loss.