The photographs in this series were taken during a month spent in the West, sleeping in the desert during storms in which it thundered and rained but the sky clouded without a crack of lightning. There was driving from California to Wyoming, listening to my grandmother’s book on tape, a raunchy Western, while vodka bottles rolled around underneath our seats.
It was a month of wearing gauzy dresses at the beach and thrift dresses in other people’s houses, of jumping in freezing lakes and crying when our skin stuck to the sweaty leather seats. I slept in my mother’s childhood bed and cleaned dishes while my aunt gossiped with my mother who argued with my grandmother, who had brought me a bag full of pears. I have always loved being able to catch memory and freeze time through photographs - it was my fear of forgetting things that partly fueled me to start taking photos in the first place. Whenever I’m with my family, that urge is particularly loud. I find myself following so closely on my grandmother’s heels that she’s tripping over me, trying to make her little thing permanent. My aunt hides from the camera, mom snaps at me not to take photographs of her stirring the rice for the dog’s breakfast before her face is awake. But later, when we’re back at home, far away from the lake and my grandmother’s pears, we’re all grateful for the bits and pieces of time, stuck forever in those square frames.