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.
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.