chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


1980s DAK self sketchMy mother wanted to be a photographer. Not as a profession, but literally to “take” pictures — to bring home with her the abstractions of color, line and form she saw everywhere.

She struggled with one camera after another. My father patiently showed her and wrote cues to help her remember the sequence of buttons. He gave her his own camera, which looked so easy and which she was sure she could master, and when that defeated her, he found her a simpler one. But that, too, was just an incomprehensible box of buttons that she eventually stuck in a drawer, giving up the idea of taking photographs.

Dorothy would undoubtedly have found a cell phone equally daunting, but she would have loved the idea of selfies. In fact, she created hundreds of them, with pencil and brush, pastel and ink. If they did not provide the instant gratification she hoped to achieve with the camera, they left a record of how she saw herself, stripped of artifice — a harsh beauty seen through an acute and unforgiving eye.

5 responses to “selfie

  1. Sheila Sondik July 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    What an incredibly sensitive touch she had!

  2. jik July 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Yup. She was good.

  3. susanissima July 29, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Lovely work, jik, and an excellent way to practice portrating, a challenging craft. What delightful artistic passion your mom had.

  4. jik July 29, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Thank you, Susan!

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