photo friday: white

Posted by on May 18, 2012

These are old photos, all from South Bend, with the bottom two taken on the campus of Notre Dame. They do not really fit in with the spring season or with anything currently going on but they somehow feel soothing to me today.
Since submitting my application for a job, I have been struck by a strange certainty: I want to go back to work. I say strange certainty because the certainty itself is what feels strange and miraculous to me, like a gift. For the last five years, it did not seem like the right thing to do. Now, all of the sudden, it seems like the right thing to do. Sometimes these questions get discussed in the abstract: Should a mother work or should she stay at home? I think that this is called “mommy wars.” Please put duct tape over my mouth and take away my laptop if I ever either talk or try to write about such questions in the abstract.
I am only talking about myself here. I am antsy to leave DC and to move on. The Macleran stroller we bought from Craigslist when we arrived has been worn down to the ground and although I cannot pinpoint exactly when it happened, it went from being really easy to maneuver, to really difficult to push. I have walked and walked and walked that thing like crazy, until my hands feel a little arthritic from gripping its handles day after day. At some point the stroller began to feel leaden, and became a bear to steer. Maybe it is the mechanics of the stroller naturally wearing out or maybe it is the fact of its passenger weighing a lot more than she did nine months ago. Most assuredly, she does weigh a lot more than she did in September. Or maybe it is psychological, because I know our time here is coming to a close, so mentally there is nothing left for me to do but prepare for departure, and the aimlessness of hanging around makes it harder to lug myself and my cargo through the streets. Whatever the reason, it leads me to the same conclusion: I am ready to go. My sights are set toward Saint Louis. And for whatever reason, when I imagine my life there, I cannot fathom myself spending my days at home.
I am not sure what all of this has to do with the theme of white or the above photos, except that maybe they come from a time and seem to speak of a time when my children were even smaller and the days were slower and more simple, sometimes in a wonderful, contemplative, and spacious way. I will miss those kinds of days. Other days at home with children have felt like one big push to get up a steep hill with a stroller constructed of lead. Those are the days that I will not miss so much. But I am grateful for it all and hopeful for a new and different phase, God willing.
Photo Friday
  1. A M B E R
    May 18, 2012


    I hope you get that job, but even if not, I'm sure you will get a great one. You were such a great co-worker at SVS.

    I love the photos, they are soothing to me as well, perhaps because it was such a long day and my own photos were so hard to choose. It's nice to look at your images, that cold snow looks refreshing at the moment.

  2. allydru
    May 19, 2012

    fantastic julia. seriously. I had no idea you were taking photos like these back then. we could have had our own exhibit of amateurs capturing the campus. wouldn't that have been (stressful)fun. thanks again for inviting me. you've done me all kinds of good, getting back to looking.

    so bizarre, those mommy wars. especially since those kind of decisions are intimate and changing — not just across different people, but within each of us over different time periods. good luck in st louis, on the job hunt, and with your lovely family.