Paul’s image from the foyer of the UVic library reminded me of an image sequence I made together with my son’s help in that very library. This sequence was my work for an exercise in a “Personal Documentary” photography course. Since many have remarked at how strongly Robert and I resemble each other, I had asked him if he could act as a stand-in for my younger self in the sequence. Here is one of the images from (I think?) the third floor.

As a teenager I spent hours and hours and hours in the Prince George Municipal Library; it is located about 12 minutes by foot from where I lived. The library tables and lounges seemed to me to be some of the few spots on the planet I could find peace and quiet (I’m the eldest of 12). Libraries and their book stacks are therefore calming places, and Robert’s solid presence here recalls what the library meant to me at his age. And, yes, when I was kid I did carry a briefcase/satchel like that. If you ever need the one there to use as a prop or somethin’, get in touch…

Perhaps the image also speaks to the generosity of my son. Robert was willing to take part in the sequence knowing full-well I was projecting myself onto him. And it reminds me that I must ensure those projections are withdrawn in order that I can see both my boys as they are, and not as my unlived life would wish.