Ebb & Flow
When the gods die, this maid shall ride her mother’s paths
-the Lay of Vafthrudnir.47
On the last day of my daughter’s 16th year, we dined in Bass Harbor, and then I handed her one of two DSLR cameras, took the other, and clambered over the rocks onto the strand where rivulets of water were glimmering down into the pulsing ocean’s edge. I knelt beside her and aimed the camera toward a pink shell in the arc of a set of wet mossy boulders. “Open the aperture, focus on that shell…Now close the aperture and get it all in focus, the shell, the boulders, the water.” Less than a year ago neither of us had ever used a DSLR. As we set about capturing the ebb tide flowing back into the harbor, I thought about the flow of life between mother and daughter. The photographs here are the memories my daughter and I share of one short afternoon of that flow. We invite you to view them as a window into the various flows of your own life, flows barely discernible, and yet relentless, taking and giving life. My daughter, Ryan Hart plays soccer and lacrosse at Camden Hills Regional High School, coaches skiing at the ‘Loaf and would like to spend her life photographing wolves and writing fiction. Her mother, Joline Blais, also coaches skiing, rows, swims, and has just begun a project to help save Maine wild blueberries from extinction, hopefully with a few of her UMaine students.