Nicholas Nixon began taking photos of his wife and her three sisters in 1975, and has taken a photo every year since. The result is incredible.
"Throughout this series, we watch these women age, undergoing life’s most humbling experience. While many of us can, when pressed, name things we are grateful to Time for bestowing upon us, the lines bracketing our mouths and the loosening of our skin are not among them. So while a part of the spirit sinks at the slow appearance of these women’s jowls, another part is lifted: They are not undone by it." -Susan Minot, writing for the New York Times
This photography project is one of the simplest and most beautiful I have seen in a long time. As we click through these photos, we see, gently and gradually, what it means to be a woman, a sister, a human. As the lines on these women's faces slowly deepen, it's tempting to read into them--to wonder what experiences have shaped them, how each sister differs from the others, and the story of each photograph. But while the four women have allowed us a glimpse of their faces each year, that is all they have allowed us. Their openness--close bed-fellows with their privacy--makes this project remarkable, poignant, and beautiful.
Check out the photos and New York Times article here.
Friday is moaning
and Sunday is laughing,
but Saturday is silence.
I breathe the deep stillness of both
the cross and the empty tomb,
but the disciples and the women
knew only the pit of having had Him
and being left with nothing, and silence
weightier than existence,
that broke the earth
and rewrote it backwards and forwards.
Silence that fills lower and higher--
pouring out of a sepulcher
that calls forth my adoring wonder.
(Last two lines inspired by The Valley of Vision)
Whatever your stance on the issue, this post by my friend Courtney is worth reading. She's not interested in yelling or arguing. She just shares her honest, beautiful story of anorexia, pregnancy, and, ultimately, love.
Take a look at Courtney's eloquent words.
I will take my children to the graveyard.
I will let them run through tombstones
like shards of rain, beating into the earth
between cracks in the sidewalk, yelling
and laughing and hiding behind big stones.
I will tell stories, snuggling our toes into the grass
curled over the Smiths and the Wrights,
and show them the woman who lived to be one-hundred.
Seated on the tombstone benches
we will grieve those who are dead, and rejoice for those
who will never die--
who are alive
for the first time, the longest time, forever.
My children will grow strong;
death shall not frighten them
when they understand that the bones of those who have died
salted the world they live in, and gave sweat to the groaning
of this very good creation. And when they grow old enough,
they will lay my bones beneath the ready earth
and they will cry--
but they will also laugh, because they will know,
as they did when they played hide-and-seek among old names,
that death has no victory--
supposedly, it does not even have sting.
Death clutches our lungs for just this one, wilting moment.
~ Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, ND Wilson
~ He Held Radical Light, Christian Wiman
~ An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
~ On the Incarnation, Athanasius of Alexandria