Portrait of My Father
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Thursday, March 08, 2018
By Kukucka Photography
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- A Portrait of My Father -

As I find that I usually do at this time of the year, I've spent some time in the "introspective" cave of winter, looking at what direction I want to steer my journey at this point in the adventure, why, and most of all, what is my heart's deepest desire to contribute to the brilliant collective tapestry of life, and how I see it through my camera. We are such beautiful souls, and all so brave and powerful. Sometimes we're the last ones to know that about ourselves - until we see it through the eyes of another. I'm honored to be that "other", and I never take it lightly when someone allows me to photograph them.

As I've been editing my life, I decided to edit my almost 10 binders of thousands and thousands of negatives as well, from back when I only shot film. Lots and lots of film. It was, and continues to be, incredibly cathartic, as I've come to realize that I have literally documented my entire life, from the time I was old enough to have my own camera (and not steal my mother's), to present day. I have documented the people who have entered and exited my life - in all their gorgeous human courage, and vulnerability. It's what I always see in people, because I see it in myself - that incredible human vulnerability, and how, when you remove judgement and expectation, there is truly, honestly, only beauty. As I look at their faces, I remember them, and I'm reminded that this is what matters ... what we leave with each other, and how we made each other feel in our best intentioned moments together.

I'll be sharing these photos as I scan them, and when I asked my Beloved Creator which image She wanted me to share first, I opened one binder, to one page, to one strip of negatives, to one single frame (in now, only FOUR binders of negatives), to find a long forgotten photograph of my Father in his dental office. He spent over 50 years being a dentist, and the finest I've ever known, truly. (I just had a stubborn filling replaced that was done by him over 30 years ago, and I was proud to tell the frustrated dentist that it was the work of my father.)

To begin this particular journey of remembering the people, places and experiences of my most amazing, simple and profound life, I begin with ... A portrait of my father. 

Until we meet again dad, I know that you are as near as my many thoughts of you.

Tags: Musings
Leave a comment:
Beth Kukucka - So beautifully conveyed ... xo
Stephanie - How lovely, powerful and deep...

What courage you must have needed -- to push past the well-intentioned, but limiting messages you would most certainly have heard as the son of a coal miner and the child of immigrants.
What faith you practiced and tended -- the truest gift of all from your parents!
What an example you set -- taking vegetables for fillings, and still sending all six of your children to college -- paving the way so that their life challenges would be less arduous than those you had to overcome.
It was with such admiration, that I saw the fruit of your labor bring a bountiful harvest in the lives of your children -- especially your youngest daughter.
It was an honor Dear man, for however short a time, to have the privilege of calling you, "Dad."
Ei Mains - What great memories that picture of your dad brings. So happy to see him through your eyes and listen to your heart. Great words to go with such poetic photography. Love it! Keep sharing those black and whites. They are our history. And give us the strength to move forward...and pursue our dreams!
Beth Kukucka - I have a feeling God is gonna have to separate you two over that handshake when you get there! Thanks for remembering him so lovingly. Love you!
Geno - One of the coolest cats I've ever known. I loved how he'd shake my hand and pull me off balance every time he greeted me. I caught on however, and the last time I saw him I was the one who gently pulled HIM off balance...so I could hug him. He was so weak but the smile and inner strength were still there and we laughed together. I'll see him again...and we'll see who remembers. Love, Beth, from his adoring nephew.
Beth Kukucka - What an appropriate song! Thank you dear cousin. He was quite the character, wasn’t he? I was blessed to be his daughter.
Carol - So eloquent and meaningful, truly an artist of depth and vision. Your pic of uncle Steve is a wonderful place to start this journey of life through pictures. As I started reading your words, the song, Time in a Bottle began playing. How very appropriate.