“And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Joni Mitchell, Woodstock.
For many of us, finding our way “back to the garden” is difficult simply because we have forgotten where it is!
When Jeanne and I were married 23 years ago, Jeanne’s niece Eileen was the flower girl at our wedding ceremony. At the time she was 3 years old.
Eileen has since grown into a “child of the 60s.” Her interest in the environment, Middle Eastern spiritual philosophies and women’s rights reminds me of similar values coveted by a generation active thirty odd years before Eileen was even born.
But it would be unfair to dismiss the values and ambitions of Eileen’s generation as inexperience, idealism or simple naivety. Our youth are – and always have been – our last great hope.
So the fact the majority of mental illnesses emerge during adolescence should concern us all! We must do what we can to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness so its emergence can be diagnosed and treated as soon as humanly possible.
The first step is letting our children know that it’s OK for them to talk about how they feel.
My mom told me about your project, Home of the Brave. I think it’s really awesome. I didn’t know that you had suffered with mental illness. It can be hard to talk about because I think there’s still a lot of stigma. I think if you can be brave to share your story, I can too. If you need any more stories then I would be happy to be one for you – Eileen.
Silver gelatin print
Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 lens
Ilford HP5, ISO 400