When it comes to amazing and talented photographers, Winky Lewis is a great contender. A Maine-based photographer has been a dedicated contributor to maternal screening for years. Winky and her best friend, Susan, wrote this lovely book, Stop Here, This Is the Place, and we want to support it wholeheartedly. To do so, we decided to share their story here as a token of our trust – to show them, love, by spreading their names and/or buying their book !.
“Our story is about two mothers who survived the genocide, were busy caring for their families, and raised almost every adult. We are in a new kind of forest, but we are still finding a way like all mothers. When I first thought about writing this interview, it was Thursday afternoon. I had just dropped off six boys in our neighborhood about a mile from home. There’s usually nothing left before high school students get there, and it’s a great place to practice your soccer photos (as well as your best video recording to put on cool music and mix).
I sat in the yard for 20 minutes watching the boys. Sounds like a real spring day, and even after this strange, cool winter in Maine, spring is still very welcome. The light felt different too, as each season seemed to introduce its light. I brought my camera to take pictures. I do so. Susan and I have said many times that our boys and their friends are like puppies, and when they are thirteen, they are still the same. Then I had to move my other children in two different directions, so I left the arena and got into a van with Susan, who could swing and hold them. Our book has grown out of this chaos of motherhood. It is a book based on friendship and a pure way of cooperation.
We are photographers (me, Winky) and author (Susan) in Portland, Maine. There is one house between us (our dear friends Alice and Dick) on our wide road that goes back to the beautiful cemetery behind our houses. We have five children and three dogs between us, and each of us has a husband too. We have been neighbors for 11 years and we are great friends, and we raised our children together in a way. There has been a lot of trade in childcare over the years, especially when children are young and running from house to house, often wearing nude or heroic costumes. We were tired at the time.
Susan taught writing workshops, and set up an art writing center in Portland called the Telling Room with a few friends who are writers. He then moved to Beijing with his family for a few years. She battled breast cancer and she wrote her family history called The Foremost Good Fortune. A few years later he wrote a novel about another family, this one in Paris, called Paris Was the Place. I was raising my kids in Portland and trying to keep a work of art of some kind alive. Susan and I tried to cooperate a few times but to no avail. Then one day about three years ago at the end of another conversation about what we could do together, I said to him, “What if I send you a picture every week and we’ll see what happens?”
I started posting pictures of him in my third-floor studio on Monday morning. Susan clicked the file and let the photo sink. He did not try to interpret the image or in any way solve it, but he simply stared and continued the day. On Tuesday morning he tried to get up before anyone in his house opened the file and looked up and immediately began writing. We did this 52 times without much discussion. They knew, almost without saying, that it was better not to talk about work or think too much about it. But I did not believe the stories Susan sent me each week, and I knew at the end of the year that we might have something.
We tried to draw a line in one of the stories in the book when one crow in our street started talking to another crow, “Stop Here. This is a place. “It looked like the pictures in the book were for my children, Susan’s, and the place.
The stories Susan wrote about the pictures were associated with being her mother, and she wanted each story to feel like a real conversation between the baby in the picture and the student – just like those times when our kids tell us important things. and we have done it in a low way so that we do not expect the impact.
Meanwhile, Susan and I learned to respect work and to allow it to grow. This means that we did not inspect or judge you and drive an image somewhere down the border of the Maine region. We are both proud of this book and thank you for the opportunity to spend time with our children. We all seem to need more time these days, and being a parent can sometimes sound like a series of small endurance competitions. But inside the pages of our book, children seem to know almost everything we mothers can teach ourselves: how to hold air underwater. How to make cardboard wings to fly. How to say hurtful things. How to say good things. There is a lot of time in pictures standing in the stock garden or doing nothing for hours talking to crows. No one is in a hurry. At least throughout the camera.
Susan and her friend were encouraged. In her words and in her story, you can see that they are two amazing women doing amazing things. Do you feel inspired? We have a lot of “amazing women” conversations on the blog! Check yourself.
POSTED IN: TALK · TAGGED: MOTHER’S DAY, MOTHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA, WINKY LEWIS