Mama, Are You Proud of Me?

Will I ever know the truth of you?

 

Photographer Reba Jenson is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay.  From the project ‘Mama, Are You Proud of Me?’.  To see Reba’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Are you proud of me when I cry? Are you proud of me when I don’t?

 

Can I fill the gaps that matter most?

 

Why? Why? Why?

 

“When I was seven years old, my mother died. Mama, Are You Proud of Me? is my journey of reconciliation with the questions that haunt me after her death. The psychological trauma I initially face became compounded when I learned later that she died due to medical malpractice. With my known reality shattered, these inquiries became even more prominent in the minutiae of daily life as I began to process her death again.

 

What divides us in the end?

 

Could I ever separate myself from this?

 

From the initial moment of my mother’s passing, many questions, ranging from what my mom would think of me if she were alive to questions about my heritage, had already risen within me. Finding out the truth of how she really died changed and multiplied these questions about my memories and feelings surrounding her death. Like how do I grow from finding out this new truth, and if knowing that truth was worth the emotional weight?

 

Would you have told me differently?

 

Is my anger a form of self-punishment for the memories I cannot repair?

 

In my photographs, the abstractions of the body and mundane objects I construct, mold the psychic landscape these questions inhabit within me. Real and implied fragments of the body swell within my actualized mindscape as I enact the presence of my mother’s absence in my life. This emphasized disembodiment reveals the indelible marks death, especially one so concerned with the destruction and reconstruction of the body, has inscribed upon my mind.”

 

Is it worth the weight?

 

Are my dreams the only place I’ll ever see you again?

 

All images and text  © Reba Jenson

 

 

See also:

The Mutability of Identity

By Reba Jenson

 

 

 

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.

We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.

 

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