Ordinary Time
6 June 2019
7am – Living Room Couch 2006/2016

7am – Living Room Couch 2006/2016

I first heard the term, Ordinary Time, sitting at church with my Mother every Sunday morning. It refers to any week of the Catholic liturgical year that is not associated with Easter or Christmas. On those days, there were no decorations, carols, candy, or gathering in front of the camera to take pictures for the family album. At the beginning of the service, the pastor would count each week of Ordinary Time until the year had past. I spent countless ordinary Sundays with my mom, so many that those memories formed a forgettable continuum. Waking up, making toaster waffles, going to church, doing homework, watching football…much of my family experience has been organized around routines, a series of set pieces that are reenacted daily and on schedule by the hour.

I used to joke with friends that at any particular time of day, I could accurately predict where my family was, exactly what they were doing, eating, watching, etc. In 2006, I started to take photos of the ordinary daily minutia surrounding my mother, father, and brother who still resided in the same home I grew up in on 8867 Edgehill Road. At that time, observing my family’s routine felt like a comforting exercise in nostalgia, as I had struggled to define myself my first few years away from home. In 2016, I returned home more often, not long after an accident involving my mother that left her alive but permanently brain damaged. The images in this series are moments in time, separated by 10 years, that show the daily patterns and rhythms of life that do not necessarily change, but adapt to alterations in the family dynamic.

The house in Northeast Ohio that contained all of my nostalgic childhood memories depicted in family albums is cracking and slowly aging, just like our old Chevy Station Wagon that eventually stopped running, and just like my mom’s deteriorated mental state. My brother and father, who both suffer from mental disorders since birth, still inhabit the same space and are struggling to cope emotionally. Yet, the absence of one or multiple family members has never altered the routines of daily life. To be present with my family only requires me to accept my role and participate in those rituals with them. This is my way of doing it.

 

8am – Morning Talk Shows at the Dining Room Table 2006/2016

8am – Morning Talk Shows at the Dining Room Table 2006/2016

8am Leaking Tupperware

8am Leaky Tupperware 2021

8am – Wheaties, 2 % milk, Spoonful of Sugar, One Cookie (Monday) 2021

8am – Wheaties, 2 % milk, Spoonful of Sugar, One Cookie (Monday) 2021

8am Wheaties, 2 % milk, Spoonful of Sugar, One cookie (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) 2021

8am Wheaties, 2 % milk, Spoonful of Sugar, One Cookie (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) 2021

 

9am – Sweeping the Floor 2006/2016

9am – Sweeping the Floor 2016/2006

 

10am – Turning Off the Television 2016

10am – Turning Off the Television 2016

12pm – Making Lunch 2006/2016

12pm – Making Lunch 2006/2016

12pm Making Lunch 2021

12pm Making Lunch 2021

12pm Kitchen Window 2019

12pm Kitchen Window 2019

1pm – Making Calls 2006/2019

1pm – Making Calls 2006/2019

2pm Background Music 2021

2pm Background Music 2021

3pm –Out in the Yard 2006/2016

2pm –Out in the Yard 2006/2016

6pm –Checking Messages 2006

3pm –Checking Messages 2006

4pm Setting the Table 2006/2019

4pm Setting the Table 2006/2019

5pm – Coming Home from Work 2006/2016

5pm – Coming Home from Work 2006/2016

6pm Sharing the Margarine 2021

6pm Sharing the Margarine 2021

7pm Evening Hike 2021

7pm Evening Hike 2021

7pm – Home Court 2006/2019

7pm – Home Court 2006/2019

8pm Leaving Messages 2016

8pm Leaving Messages 2016

 

 

8pm – Picking up Some Groceries 2006/2016

8pm – Picking up Some Groceries 2006/2016

9pm Turning Off the Lights 2021

9pm Turning Off the Lights 2021

9pm Holding On 2021

9pm Checking the Upstairs 2021

9pm – The Evening Routine 2006

10pm – The Evening Routine 2006

 

9pm – The Evening Routine 2016

10pm – The Evening Routine 2016