Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Home and Away

I woke up this morning in my sister's old room and looked out the window. There was color everywhere. Even though I was radically underslept, I stumbled out of bed and made my way outside. The light couldn't wait. As I walked around trying to capture the momentary translucence of azaleas, redbuds, and dogwoods, I found myself looking back at the house. I realized with startling clarity that I'd never regarded it as my home. And I felt bad. It's not the house's fault, after all, that I continue to miss our old place in Pennsylvania. So I shot this photo to apologize:

As zonaroja can attest, it's a decidedly modest place. Both the house itself and the people who live there are completely devoid of pretense. But there's something poignant about the fact that the house's slow submission to entropy has been accompanied by a sublime wilding of its setting. Where there used to be a bleak slope in front, there is now a large tree and assorted smaller plants. In back, where I once vainly attempted to stage one-person fantasy baseball games of the sort I spent hours fashioning in Pennsylvania, the lawn is giving way to wildflowers. Standing out in the backyard, I can almost forget that this house I never wanted to call my own is bound up with the time in my life when I felt most alone. I've finally reached the point where I've grown estranged from my teenage estrangement. And I can see beauty where I once could only perceive its denial.
Tags: autobiography, family, home, photography

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