I went home a few days before Christmas, and had “consolidation chemotherapy” over the next four months. Every time I started to feel well, I had another injection and started the whole cycle again. I did not have enough strength to carry my large format camera. And, to be honest, I lost most of my motivation. There were times I thought I might never photograph again.
In the late spring, I experienced whole days of feeling well and came back to the project with a new perspective on the ideas of permanence and impermanence, mortality and immortality, family and connection. During my treatment, I realized that some of my closest friendships, which I thought would be permanent parts of my life, were actually very flimsy. My friends faltered in the face of illness and that eerie quality of a body at war with itself. My wife was immersed in medical school and I often felt lonely. hide became a kind of mental and physical therapy for me. Talks with the hunters were my main connection to other adults. My walks to the stands through large fields and green pastures were a distraction from thinking about cancer. In many ways, hide rescued my sanity.
The further I get into remission – and from painful memories of my illness – the closer I get to the photographs, and to seeing qualities beyond solitude, sadness, and silence. Lately, I look at the images and experience a new emotion: grace. Ultimately, hide became my reflection on legacies and family, my homage to the state that has become my home, and a subconscious narrative about accepting change and loss, gracefully.