RENEE WALLACE WILSON
(Renee Ing Akana)
My mother died in 2009, but before she left the rest of us behind, she told me that if I bought her house, she'd write me out of the will. Aside from the fact that the house has a truly haunted history, what more could happen if I did buy it.
I bought the house just because.
Isn't it amazing that in Spanish or Italian (and perhaps many other languages) the important words of the universe seem to blur into one. Perhaps this is all we need to know:
por que y porque
perche e perche
WHY and BECAUSE.
Life in Los Angeles had its challenges at the time that I left and I miss it all of the time! I was illegally evicted and I came to upstate New York. I felt like an exile. I sued my landlord and won, but it was a long process and an even longer story. I moved into the old house on Railroad Street. It was quite a shock.
It was a culture shock. I lived at the ocean for forty-five years and I was road tripping every weekend through the mountains and the desert. I wasn't so sure that I made the right move. I was less certain that I could feel as adventurous or as creative in my new home because it was different. The house remained haunted with old memories and new concerns.
My mother came to mind. Once she had her cataract surgery, she was able to dump her rhinestone studded "coke bottle" eyeglasses and she was suddenly able to see -- anything and everything that was on the ground. She found money, a diamond ring, a birthstone ring she gave to me and just about anything you can imagine. Whoever thinks to keep their eyes to the ground? One day, she opened up her wallet and proudly fanned the currency that she collected from down below. "Spend it," I said. "Oh no," she claimed. "It begets more of the same." There was something new that I saw in my mother.
This woman could spot fascination in a piece of cello wrap. Was this something I wasn't noticing in my mother or was it a newer attitude with its super vision. She had this willingness to get into a new world just by looking elsewhere. She would be walking the edge of a curb, shuffling leaves and discarded paper. One year, we were parked in my car at the Rose Parade in Pasadena. After she did her tour of the local gutters, we were eating our ham and cheese sandwiches in the car, waiting for traffic to let us out of our crammed in space. I pointed out that she had been picking things up in the street without washing her hands. The woman gave me a "stink eye." She said nothing. Without breaking her gaze on me and as if to show me what she thought, she took another bite out of her sandwich. Porque -- That's all I needed to know.
I never imagined that I would live on Railroad Street again. This is an even longer story. My father was killed by a train when I was a kid. My mother's grandfather was killed by a train. My shooting partner was a rail fan and for some strange reason, I was finding trains roaring through my life again.
Perhaps my mother had an issue with having me back on Railroad Street when she threatened to write me out of her will. If she can hear me now, Mommy it is all good.
Shows, Events & Awards:
* IPA 2011 - Honorable Mention - Editorial : Environmental Category
* IPA 2011 - Honorable Mention - People : Lifestyle Category
* IPA 2012 - Honorable Mention - Special : Digitally Enhanced Category
* IPA 2012 - Honorable Mention - Fine Art : Other_FA Category