Family and Scars

May 09, 2015  •  1 Comment


Sunset from the guest bedroom.

     As the sun sets on day two of my German adventure, I am left feeling frustrated and exhausted. I don't know why but this time around I am suffering from the time change pretty bad. It is taking me two days to try and catch up. Last night I slept 11 hours and I am still tired!

     My frustration comes from the very obvious language barrier. I don't feel lost or helpless because I can read and understand German fine. I am frustrated because it takes me such a long time to respond because I have to really think about what it is I am trying to say. I think my family thinks I can't understand, despite telling them otherwise, so they try to speak English for me. Unfortunately, my Grandma's broken English is harder to understand than German itself. She is trying to bridge this communication gap, as am I, but she isn't really helping. I try to tell her just to speak German, I will respond in English for awhile but eventually the switch will click on and I will be quick to respond in German. That switch cannot activate until all I hear is German. 

     My family also frustrated me today. Just to meet for lunch became this huge ordeal. Uncle David wanted to go to Starnberger See for lunch. (See = lake; pronounced like a mixture of sea and say.) The lake is about 45 minutes outside of Munich. He wanted us all to meet at his house and carpool there. Uncle Siggi lives about 20 minutes away from the lake so he didn't want to meet at David's house. Thus begins the disagreement. Then the weather was brought into question. It might rain, or it might be too cold for the elderly with us, but to some it was perfect. Great Grandma then voiced that she doesn't like to drive too far away from the city and Grandma is playing phone-tag trying to figure it all out. 

Grandma and Merlin.   


     Here I am sitting all nice and quite when all I want to do is shake some sense into everyone. First of all, my Great Grandma is turning 91 years old and while she is quite healthy, she has been fading quite a bit this past year. If she doesn't want to leave the city then we just wont leave the city. What she prefers should come first. But alas it didn't. So we all head out to the lake. Then the problem with Siggi; it just makes sense to meet him there. We all fit in one car anyways. Once again, no one asked for my opinion and he drove all the way to David's just to drive back. 

     I find that I am too logical, and with family situations it is always the most illogical answer that seems to make sense. 

     The lake was beautiful, lunch was delicious, overall not worth the hassle. 

     I have come to the conclusion that family will always be your biggest adversary in life. Once you survive them, you know you made it. Unfortunately, you will spend your entire life trying to survive with no relief. They will fight you to the bone, find all of your buttons and push them until you want to scream. And just when you can't possibly take anymore, you will realize that they will always be there for you. You can rely on them, even when they aggravate you. 

     I guess this is the first, and most obvious lesson I had to learn on this trip. And while I didn't really just learn it, I really need to start realizing it more often. 


Sandra, David, Great Grandma, and Grandma.

Sandra, David, Great Grandma, and Grandma

     Today was also the day I had to cut my stitches out. Long story short, right before leaving Pittsburgh I managed to slice the bottom of my foot open right by my big toe. Ended up with five stitches and a small curved scar. Pulling stitches out is hands down the weirdest feeling I have ever felt. It got me thinking about my few scars. For a clumsy human, I really have never injured myself bad enough to acquire a collection of scars. But the few I do have all come from photography. This foot/toe scar came from picture frame glass I had leaning precariously around the apartment after I used the frames for a project. I have a very odd burn scar on my left wrist from a hotlight making skin contact about four years ago. On my right wrist is a tricky scar that will sometimes flame red and other times fade to white. I actually have no idea how I got this one but I noticed it after a 3 hour shoot for a mini documentary project I worked on. The only other scar I have is by my eye and comes from hitting the corner of something when I was learning to walk. 

     I am proud of my scars. Other than showing how clumsy I am, they prove that I dedicate my mind and body to my work. I put my body under so much stress to achieve the images and stories I want. Sometimes photography gets hard and I don't know what exactly I am doing. The projects beat me up, they push me to the limits, but I continue to shoot. I think it means a lot if you are willing to sacrifice your body and mind for your passion. It shows character and strength. 

     I think scars are so beautiful. As a storyteller, I love hearing the stories associated with each scar. The destroyed tissue holds a memory. They are something you can be proud of. They are stories you should tell. So share your stories, even if they are just examples of how clumsy you can be. 

     Tomorrow we venture to Prague.

     Bis dann.



we all have some crazy family members,however you still love them.Great blog tahnks for shearing
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