Solace

It’s the second anniversary of my grandmother’s death and tonight it feels like not even a second has past. My family has slowly pulled itself back together, but this evening I am still overwhelmed by my emotions. I still can’t see past it. I still feel torn apart and alienated.

But, I am also grateful. I am extremely fortunate to have felt the familial connection and love that inspires this heartache and sadness. I am humbled. Without her, I would not be me and in that I take solace. I am made of her. And of my mother. And my father. And my brother, too.

We’re still all together.

Saturday, August 21, 2010. Dr. John.

Hungover. Chill. Byrne. Ox. Sheep. Pirana 3D. Music Hall. The Night Tripper. NOLA. Good Times Roll. Groove. Right place. Wrong time.

Evening Revelations.

Joy of Experience ≥ Need to Document Exeperience
Tonight at around 11pm I realize I hadn’t taken a photo all day. Even though I spend the entire day with my family and with the friends I love, I was more focused on enjoying my time with them than taking photos to try and capture a memory of our time. It was a great day, with great people. Special thanks to Jesse for always helping to reinforce this one.

Loving Someone + Losing Someone can = Posititivity
Today would have been my grandmother’s 72nd birthday. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I visited her grave with my brother, sister-in-law and two young nieces. We brought her birthday flowers, ate cupcakes, talked about her and most importantly remembered how fantastic a force she was in all our lives. We remembered how much we loved her and she loved us. Love to my sister-in-law and to the Stuarts for being a part of my family. It’s really the most important thing.

Windows Down + Loving to Drive = Perfect 1am ride
It’s the small things in life, and this is a favorite of mine. Nothing makes me feel happier than driving fast with the windows down and the music loud. If you know me, you probably know this and I hope that we’ve done it together before. Singing encouraged, groovin required. I’m usually dancing in my seat.

Harmonica + Claudette = Crime it hasn’t happened yet
Seriously, I’ve been thinking about it and talking about it for so long it’s kind of baffling that this hasn’t happened yet.

Love,
Claudette

“Hey, c’mon,
Gonna chase tomorrow
Tonight, tonight.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010. Texas Thunderstorm.

Humid. Rain. Childhood. Memories. Home. Heat. Sweat. Bad drivers. Flooding.

when my thoughts drift to you.

when i started this project i was skeptical.

could i remember to take the photos?
would i have time to edit the videos? *
what would my friends think?
could i truly commit myself?

but i took the leap.

now i’m finishing this project.
i’m scared.
i’m sad.
i’m grateful.

for this journey of self-exploration.
for the trust and close relationships laid bare.
for the portraits of so many beautiful, loved friends and family members.
for the silhouette of myself in a life-photo still unclear.

realizing that my dearest friends have exposed themselves to and for me is humbling. it is to those friends that i feel the most gratitude, love and admiration.

without you, i am not me.

thank you.

love,
claudette carole

special love, adoration and thanks to:

the many friends who have allowed themselves to be photographed by me.

my nannie, dixie carole for her strength and unending love.
for all the boat rides, fireworks, birthdays and patience.
for giving me the lake, the love of summer nights and cornbread dressing.
for listening to me, understanding me and teaching me to love my family.
for sharing her name and her texas with me.

my parents, bubba, sister-in-law, nieces and extended family for making me who i am, always having my back, and giving me unconditional love.

sarah “sarita” elisabeth ralph for being my sister soulmate, my best and most beautiful subject, and for loving me more no matter what.

jesse trussell for being my perpetual sounding board, constant supporter, and for the best existential conversations; for helping me start, continue, finish and understand this project.

matthew enea crawford for always listening to me, waiting on me and trusting me; for giving me tough love, more shit than i can handle, making me laugh and keeping me sane.

lindsey & johnny ashley for hours of entertainment, food, friendship and comforting conversation.

blakeney kammerdiener & tesha vandusen for giving me shelter, love and support no matter what.

jessica mae stuart & joshua james fulp for more than 20 years of laughter, fighting and fun; for sticking by me no matter how bratty, bossy or crazy i’ve been and helping make me the person i am today. FLP FOR LIFE.

arthur carroll reyna, III for magnesium-burning lightning-in-a-bottle love and for giving me einstein’s dreams.

stephanie noone, rebecca feferman, nicholas palmer robinson, janet pierson, jarod neece and everyone else who backed and encouraged me without fail.

* obviously, while i am finished capturing this project, i have not yet completed it. i am currently in the process of editing the remaining videos and regret that my intense work commitments prevented me from completing them in a timely manner. thankfully, a project about memory and the understanding and interpretation of time means it kind of works. look for additional videos to be added throughout the summer and fall.

361. Saturday, May 22, 2010. Sarah, Mason and Me.

Sarita. Excited. Early gift. Naked. Threadgill’s. Choke. Antone’s. Be here now. Lindsey. Conciliation. Love. Perfect.

357. Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Future Bed.

Jessie. Birthday. Josh. Andreas. Greek Salad. Tyropita. Matt. Todd. Project. Instructions. Sleep Journal.