mollyreesphoto mollyreesphoto

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Molly Menschel  recent work and writing at

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I woke up this morning and there was the wind. Sometime during the night it had swept through everything, making things right again. The house was quiet - Orest in the garage fixing a bike, Eloise and Julian in their pajamas making water balloons on the front lawn. And I noticed there were things I have looked at but never actually seen. The bushes outside our front door, the house across the street, the palm of my hand.
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Last week I felt discouraged that I would never again be able to make a good photograph. It seemed unlikely that there was an original idea left in the world - every story already written and no new songs left to be sung.
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And then it was after dinner and I was sorting laundry, Ray LaMontagne playing from a boombox on the dresser and my favorite song came on. Gabriel was crawling through the piles of clean clothes on the bed and I picked him up and we slow danced together around the room. He turned his cheek against my collarbone, I caught a glimpse in the mirror of his little body tucked against mine. And as we swayed back and forth between the closet and the bed I felt the singularity of that moment so acutely. It filled me up, it rushed through me like the wind and touched a thousand different places inside.
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And I knew: inspiration was not lost. There will always be a moment that belongs entirely to you. There will always be a new idea. There will always be another picture.

such anguish...

Brush Creek

summer haircuts

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It is summer. And it is raining. The days are pressing down with that heavy romantic feeling that makes it impossible to do such mundane things as keep the house clean or put away laundry. And I move through the hours like a Victorian woman standing at her bedroom window, wishing someone would feed and bathe her children so she might write poetry in the rain.
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I am like that friend who laid down in the grass and the grass was so exquisite it made her cry. A bluebird in a roof gutter, a robin in an overgrown yard. Even the weeds sprawling from the cracks in the driveway are laden with inspiration. And so I take long detours to drive past the river, I wear mascara to do last night’s dishes. I dream of laying on blankets with strangers in the park, telling everyone how beautiful they are.
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At night, my heart is too full to sleep. I try to close my eyes but always on the other side of midnight there are things waiting to be seen. My children sleeping, a perfect crescent moon. A rectangle of light from the neighbor’s bedroom window cast against the wall. A gust of wind, passing through the trees outside, branches like long dark arms that brush against the windowsill and enter the room. And I am outside smoking cigarettes in the dark like I’m sixteen years old, or wandering around the backyard in my underwear until I’m caught by the motion detector light next door. Up and down the street, every house light extinguished. The world so quiet that breathing comes easier than it did before.
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Do you remember laying awake at night and watching the headlights move across your bedroom wall? A cup of water on the windowsill, the sound of adults moving through the rooms downstairs? Even in this town there are hot muggy nights, sleeping without sheets, a window fan and the sound of a train in the distance. All the elements for a perfect memory, and I think of my own children and know their childhood will be all right.
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It is late and the dunes are a deserted country. Stripping off our clothes, we run hell-bent into the ocean. There is laughter, stillness. A wave that picks you up and pushes you towards shore. Though you fear the sharks will eat you the water calls you home.

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