South African photojournalist Victor Matom has taught youth in Soweto photography for over 25 years. As a boy, Matom used to sneak into whites-only book stores to learn all he [More…]
An elegant comic about love and loss.
One of my earliest memories of my father-in-law is watching him eat chicken feet at Li Wah in downtown Cleveland. It was at once brutal and beautiful, the way he used his teeth and his lips and his fingertips to get the scant meet off the bones, the sweet red sauce like a kiss on his cheek. He told me I could eat the cartilage, but to be careful of the bones. Six years later, when the lymphoma was almost finished carving the blood cells from his bone marrow, he would tell me what his mother once told him: that when you no longer want to eat, that’s when you die.
A wake for an old person is very strange because no one knows how to feel. It’s sort of like a nineteen-year-old dog dying. It’s got to happen at some point, and everyone’s surprised it’s taken so long.
I want to settle the problem of my older sister Monica. She’s losing her marbles. She’s eighty-two and she’s still a drama queen and she’s driving me nuts. Why does the oppressive responsibility for her well-being drape itself across my shoulders like a moth-eaten shawl? Why me?
Their slumberous faces were those of depleted souls relishing the respite from the toil of everyday living. None of them had moved for hours, not even unconsciously into a more comfortable position. Their utter stillness and worn-out covers reflected a stark, almost sickly need for night to extend beyond the arbitrary border of day. Their motionless figures in the hollow silence of the basement begged darkness to continue, the snow to keep on dusting the bowels of the city, and the stars to go on shining for the weary of spirit.
You ask me why we haven’t died yet.
I don’t have an answer
and that bothers you.
Read more →