Nineteenhundred and forty-six

(Note: This is another part of my continuing series about the state of mental heath treatment during my parents’ time and how it affected them in caring for their first child, my older brother Michael – autistic, low functioning and nonverbal) 1946 This was a good year. It was the year my parents got married. […]

Family Snap of Dad

I always loved this picture of my father. Dad always had this sense of wonder about nature. I suppose that was why he became a physicist. On the other hand, he wasn’t that comfortable with the real world, which is probably why he was a theoretical physicist. His real love was mathematics. After he retired […]

Such Promise

It was 1949. My parents’ first child, my older brother Michael, was born.  I am my family’s archivist, so I still have the baby album my parents started. It begins hopefully enough. Black and white pictures, probably taken with Dad’s Hawkeye camera. After half a dozen pages of Mike in his crib and in his […]

New Project

Current project Those of you who follow my blog know that my older brother is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. On his 40th birthday I started a long-term photography project to try to figure out my relationship with him. It may be hard to believe, but I was never sure if my brother knew who […]

Belly Laugh

Photographs Still pictures are wonderful. Even though they sometime portray something different than the reality of a situation, a photographer seeks to portray self-truth. A great photographer gives the viewer a window to how he or she sees the world. One such artist is Diane Arbus. When I first studied her work, my impression was […]

Lost in the Noise

I thought of new metaphor to explain my relationship with my older brother, Michael, while looking at some videotapes that I took of him in the 1990s. Mike is autistic, low functioning and has never spoken. A metaphor I often used was: “Relating to my brother Michael is like beating my head against a brick […]

I Found My Videos

(I found some analog VCR recordings of original digital recordings – it was enough to tweak my memory) There is something about a photographic pictorial record that fascinates me. Not just the family snapshots, but historical photographs as well. Each photograph is a time machine. They are so thought provoking, that I once wrote a […]

Getting Old Stinks

Part of my inspiration for posting this today is the blog post from Osiris Ramos (http://osirisramos.wordpress.com/): I Would Like to be Old (posted 8-23-12). A chat with Mom I started writing this post a few days ago after speaking with Mom. In fact the title of this post is a direct quote from her. Defeat […]

Cereal Box Philosophy

I’m not very big on looking for signs to guide me, being an existentialist. However, I do stop at stop signs and stop lights when I’m driving; when it’s cloudy, I say, “Looks like rain,” just like everyone else; I don’t touch the stove if the red light indicates that the element is still hot. […]

Practice

Dad played the violin. Mom played the piano. They played duets before they had children. In my childhood memories, I only remember them playing together a couple of times. Music was a big part of my family life, growing up. Opera on Saturdays, my father reading along in the libretto sometimes; Mozart, Beethoven, Bach… you […]