and share on social media.
By Anne Kohler
It’s about the things we’ve lost. It was the Monday after that dreadful Friday. I dropped my kids off at school – Emma and Sam – and for the first time in my life as a mother, I worried that they may not be safe there. I felt sad, scared and angry. Because what safer place is there in my town or anywhere on the planet than the elementary school five blocks from home?
I spent the next few days in a state, plagued by feelings of depression and nausea. And there was a lot of guilt, for I still got to wake up with my kids, make them breakfast, help with their homework. I still got to enjoy our daily routine. Every family has their own, until all of a sudden they don’t. It occurred to me that this is what we lost on that dreadful Friday. We all felt it – the loss of routine and joy, the loss of the innocence, wonder and trust of those children, our children. Even those of us who didn’t live it felt it.
So I started taking pictures – pictures of children about the same age as the ones from Newtown, children about the same age as my own. For each of the twenty I photographed, I chose a sentiment that children represent just by virtue of being children. I wrote the sentiments on their arms, legs, chests, hands.
I spent about half an hour with each child, and not once did I utter the words “Newtown” or Sandy Hook.” I simply told them I was photographing kids their age and that I wanted to write words on them that symbolized childhood. This was my way of doing something creative with all of the negativity and the rage that I couldn’t otherwise shake. This is the conversation I want to have with other parents, children, teachers. These are the images I want politicians to see while they are making decisions about gun laws.
This time, we will not go on with our routines, and our memory will be long.
It’s about the things we’ve lost.
Anne has created a Facebook page dedicated to this project.