Clare’s Rock


It is a rock that I found on the site of the Sea Castle located in Sidon Lebanon. The castle was built by the Crusaders in 1228 AD. This is one of the most humble and quaint but powerful and beautiful castles I have seen in all of my travels of the world. I loved how inside the castle felt like an MC Escher drawing, and I went to this castle at a point of life that was pretty dark. I enjoyed standing on the top of the castle and watching the Mediterranean Sea push waves against the side of the ruined structure. This instantly became one of my favorite locations, so the rock represents that place in my house back in Chicago. The Sea Castle is a memory that is protected and a place I go to for safe harbor, also when it is really cold in Chicago I think back to how perfect the weather and the sun felt the day I was at the Sea Castle in Lebanon.

I live in Chicago, and I photographed the rock with Lake Michigan behind it. This photograph becomes a self portrait of me, carrying my good memories back home and resting with another body of water on the other side of the world.












a “jamón serrano” stand, which holds the jamón safely when you cut it. I keep it even knowing that I never going to have a jamón here in America, but makes me feel a little like at home. A jamón leg in the counter covered with a kitchen cloth is a symbol of “everything is ok in life” to me, probably because only parents have money to buy jamón in Spain, and young people go to their parents to eat it.

(the one on the left is his own, the one on the right gives an indication of how it should be used, if one were so lucky to have jamón)

I keep this cigar box of plastic bugs and creatures because- I know I would miss it were it gone, and if a little kid comes over just put that box in front of them and you can hang out with your buddy.

One is a fish bowl that I have carried from house to house for many years, but I have never put a fish in it.  It made me ask myself: at what point do good intentions turn into hoarding?

And the other is a magnifying glass that was my grandad’s- I don’t use it or have it out on display, and it wasn’t special to him, but I keep it because it reminds me of him.
The second one seems more normal, like for memories’ sake, but that fishbowl deal is straight cookoo.

Since my father passed away when I was 2, I never really got to know him and anything I have of his means a great deal to me. This is one of the only things I have that directly connects me with him, so it’s extra special. He made it and I think it’s really beautiful craftsmanship and pretty genius; you can hold it by the handle and gaze at yourself, or set it down when you need access to both hands for primping!

My grandmother gave me Golden Bear for my first Christmas, and he sits by my bedside still. He and I were inseperable for many years, and I slept with him tucked under my arm until I was a teenager. I love him because he provides a connection to my childhood self. Looking into his eyes, I can remember what I thought and felt when I was just beginning to learn about the world.

My father got me this while we were on a family vacation in Maine.  1985 or so.  4th or 5th grade.  My mother said I’d cut my finger off.  (“You’ll shoot your eye out.”)  My father got it for me anyway.  A few weeks later I cut the hell out of my finger but lied about how it happened.  Something about tripping and falling on glass.  To use Ralph’s words: “They bought it.”

I have lost this knife several times.  One time when I was in 6th grade (or so)  It was 4th of July.  We were sitting in the middle of huge field watching fireworks in upstate NY.  The next morning I realized it was gone.  We went back to look.  I walked in a straight line to where I thought we were, I looked down, no shit, there it was.  One line, huge field.  The knife and I are connected.

I don’t carry it around anymore, I don’t want to lose it. (Again.)