Entry Title: "Music From a Farther Room"
Name: Jennifer McClure , United States
Category and Expertise: Self-Portrait|Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional
Entry Description: These photos are from a series of self-portraits and still lifes exploring a personal search for meaning while feeling no sense of history or future.
Story: "Music From a Farther Room"
For many years, I was in love with a man who was not in love with me. I refused to see this simple truth. I clung on to hope like a sailor to a piece of shipwreck. I didn’t talk about my feelings, because I knew the truth would upset my fragile balance of delusion. Our arrangement worked only if we never went too deep.
Eventually I realized that this semblance of a relationship was masking a loneliness that was bigger than I had ever imagined. I didn’t start out in the world with a strong bond to my family, and I haven’t done anything to create that for myself. We moved frequently when I was a child, so I have no hometown or sense of place. I worry that I will drift through this life, unremarkable and unattached. The present seems to slip through my fingers, as I obsess over the future and untie the knots of the past.
While I struggled with whether or not I should say something to this man, I began photographing myself in water. I love the water but I am afraid of it. I feel the same way about people; I am fascinated but only from a safe distance. Water constantly changes and has the power to soothe, sustain or destroy. I’m drawn to it but I don’t know how to be in it.
And so the question grew beyond the scope of a yes or no answer from one person. I began searching for signs of successful connections and missed opportunities, trying to piece together a map of how to be. I never found any answers. I am afraid and insecure and I get lost in the questions, but at least in that I am not alone.