Emily Schwank

These Are the Days that Must Happen to You

Artist Statement

I have been here before.  The airports, the fatigue, the cold, damp air.  This island is the one I carry in my heart.  The Streets of Belfast are like old friends who have washed their hair and put on their pretty baubles and hug me in with the familiar smells of diesel and pints and the sea.

But this time it was my long-legged first born, this girl poised on the edge, child and woman, who listens and looks with new eyes at the Narnia Forests and Political Murals, the Black Taxis and Mountains, the Pubs and Pints, and Wild Cliffs.

We stayed up late and got up early.  We laughed and wept a little and climbed mountains.  My sister and I taught my daughter the terms of travel and of life. Be curious and resourceful.  Be afraid sometimes that to do something might kill you; do it anyway.  Embrace the new and wild; be glad of your bed, safe and sound.

I carried my camera as I do, an extension of self and seeing.  But it was this girl beside me with her anime eyes that showed me the new way seeing my old beloved.

Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you

Emily Schwank, 2013

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