I was born…

Please welcome Heather (call me Hedda) Armour, a blogger who has just joined Black Ink, White Paper. She guest blogged for us back in June of 2011, and we’re delighted to have her with us again. She’ll be blogging one Friday a month from here on out. We’re going to let her introduce herself.


Hello Everyone!

My name is Heather but please call me Hedda. I’m a Vancouver-based photographer and really looking forward to guest blogging for the next few months. It’s not every day that I get invited to pontificate in a public forum in such illustrious company, so I thank you and beg your indulgence.

When Kate asked me to do this she said “start by telling something about yourself”, and it seemed the logical place to begin was “I was born…”

Did I tell you I’m a music lover? I am, and we’ll get to that in a minute. It’s just that one of the side effects of my music pash is that there’s a soundtrack going most of the time. In my head, I mean. Maybe that’s true of most of us, I don’t know. It’s just that when I started paying attention it, I recognized there is a song playing in my head pretty much constantly, and most of the time that song is specific to my experience. For example, on a recent – and ill-fated – date, I noticed the cerebral song was “Help”. And when I walked away, relieved our time together was over, strains of “It Ain’t Me, Babe” filled my mind. Ah, but I get ahead of myself.

The point is, the moment I started to write “I was born….” my mind was flooded with songs that begin that way. And each has a tune. And each tune had to play out. So, if you’re still with me, and want to have a little musical fun while you’re waiting for me to get around to telling you where I actually was born, let me share some songs with you and invite you to Name That Tune, or, Hum That Tune. Ready?

“I was born in the wagon of a travelling show….”
“I was born/in a bunk/Mama died/Daddy got drunk…”
“I was born in Little Rock/Had a childhood sweetheart/We were always hand in hand…”
“I was born in a cross-fire hurricane…”
“I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine…”
“Born under a bad sign…”
“We were born before the wind…”

OK, now we’re getting into plurals and who am I to speak for you? But did any of those beginnings start tunes playing in your head? Welcome to my world.

The other thing that happened when I started to tell you about myself and then had this influx of others’ “I was born…” was that I felt my humble beginnings were, well, humble. Maybe even boring. Commonplace at any rate. I considered lying, or at least embellishing my start in life. I could have said I was born in a taxi instead of almost born in a taxi.

But here it is: I was born in Montreal on a hot summer day. Apparently it was an easy birth, as these things go. I didn’t exactly arrive holding a camera, but my eyes were wide open, perhaps to drink in all the visuals my blind grandfather couldn’t; perhaps because my first years were spent in a boarding house full of strangers and characters and their unique phantasmagorias; possibly because from an early age I understood the nostalgic power of photographs to transport and influence us. And, apropos of nothing in particular, there was, and still is, music playing somewhere close by.



7 responses to “I was born…

  1. So glad to have you with us, Hedda. And yes, there’s a sound track in my head. Woke up this morning to Rolling In the Deep. Boy, if that isn’t something to get one out of bed.

    In such a beautiful world, I do not see how one cannot be visual. I am when I write. Vivid scenes play out in my mind. But also, like you, I often have a camera in hand for those times when words fail.

    Anyhow, welcome to the gang. Kick your shoes off and make yourself at home. See you back here in a few.

  2. *laughs* So I had “Carry On My Wayward Son” playing in my head the whole time I was reading your post. 😛
    Welcome to the group!

  3. Welcome Hedda, nice to have you here, and to have another ex-Montrealer in the group.


  4. Okay, I totally DON’T have a sound track playing in my head and I didn’t wake up to a song, though now I’ve re-read Hedda’s blog – I’ve got born under a bad sign… in my head, which isn’t helping my writing at all!


  5. Hey Hedda, welcome aboard. I awoke to the garbage truck trying to demolish the garbage can. But oddly enough, I was listening to your fellow Canadian, Justin Hines as I read your post.

    I look forward to getting to know you better through your posts. One question, are you a scotch drinker? I am partial to scotch drinkers. A wee dram of scotch and a song in my ear, helps the stories come. 😉


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