Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
Typically, when I write a blog entry, I start with the topic and go from there. When I'm done writing, I'll go find a photo that will go with it, or I'll take one if I need one. Or perhaps I'll steal one from someone else's page, maybe yours! The point is, usually the photo comes last, as an accompaniment to the writing.
This morning as I was leaving for work, Schuyler was drawing with her big markers, wearing her little ballerina outfit that she inexplicably puts on when she's playing around the apartment. I have no idea what the appeal might be, particularly since she doesn't really dance around much when she wears it. Anyway, she was drawing quietly with her markers, and I thought it was cute so I took a few photos on my way out the door.
It wasn't until later, after I loaded the photos into my computer, that I saw what I had captured, and knew that I wanted to write about it.
Anyone who has ever met Schuyler and spent any time with her knows how sociable she is. She is outgoing and friendly and not one bit shy. It's almost scary sometimes, how warm and happy and turned-up-to-eleven she can be.
But Schuyler lives most of her life inside her head. It's not so pervasive as it was when she was younger. She can make herself more clearly understood now, she has options she didn't have before. But she only makes those connections when it suits her, and much of the time, it doesn't.
Strangely, this is a side of Schuyler that I understand completely. When she disappears inside her own head like she's doing in that photo, I get it. It's not because of her monster, not entirely. I think she retreats there because it's a place where she makes sense. Schuyler is a social creature, but she is also a very internal one, a person who can be totally alone in a crowded room. I watch her withdraw, not out of sadness or anger or stress, but simply because that's where she lives, inside herself. And I get it, because it's where I live, too.
Tomorrow, she and I will spend the day at home together, and I know that like on most days we have, we'll spend part of it just sitting together. She'll draw or play with her dolls, making them speak to each other in her strange moonman language (she never uses her device to make them talk; she tried that early on, making her dinosaurs say "I love you" to each other, but that didn't last) while I write. We'll do that for hours, and we'll never say a word, and it'll be perfect.
I guess I like that shot because I take a lot of photos of Schuyler that show the vibrant part of her personality, but I feel like a real photographer when I take one that shows her where she lives, inside that strange and broken and beautiful head.