46-years ago today.

January 1st, 2015, 12pm

It was -7.8°C with overcast. The wind blew strong.

“You know two big, black nurses pushed you out,” Mom said.

“I was NOT having a good time 46-years ago today,” she added. My birthday. The call, there is always the call. “I couldn’t get the doctors to pay any attention to me.” “They were all watching football, so I had to give birth to you on my own.”

“Figures,” I said. “I like being pushed around by women.” “Now I know where it came from.”

There were complications with my brother, six-years older, who came out twisted like a pretzel and the color of the Atlantic. My sister and I, subsequently, were glided into the world sans medication. Rumor has it she hypnotized herself, but hippy skills were not something to be admired in the backwater I call my birthplace. Hippy skills were to be subjected to scrutiny and finger pointing. Her ass-length braids and long dresses adorned with scenes from the African Savannah didn’t help.

And then there was the doctor. Always a pipe in his mouth. Never bothered to look up the definition of “bedside manor” because he had no time for it. “Quite you crying you baby or I’ll strap your ass to a table,” he would yell at me as the needle came close enough to taste and feel.

And mom just did her thing. Knowing the joke was on them. She could, and does, transcend, having daylight visions her entire adult life. Helping her come to grips with death, unruly neighbors and the fear that comes from learning you love isolation and the windowless room of your own thoughts.

I laugh when I see this photograph because she is carrying her “Medicine Stick” and wearing a t-shirt complete with an image I made of her flyfishing at least ten years ago.

Power on mom and keep your powder dry. Siempre Juntos.

David Wade, Charlie and Vy said thanks.

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Daniel Milnor

"Photographer at Large" for Blurb, Inc. Serial book, magazine and journal maker. @smogranch www.shifter.media

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