The cold air is unmoving, except for when the wind thrusts it violently making me bend in its wake. Trees mockingly bloom with snowball cotton tops. Gale force winds throw the storm door off its hinges as I make my way outside.
I hear the birds who have come back to our yard to sing, though the snow clings, swaddling the muddy earth. Could it be that winter is my growing season as I am blasted by aching pains? Bitter surroundings intensify, yet what is alight inside me radiates warmth back against the icy shivers. Slowly, daylight extends as the cold months tick tock. Sunsets shift further towards due west as its arcing trajectory swoops. A lingering golden rim on the horizon hovers like a tally mark above the distant tree line, as I count the days until the peepers share their song. I could wish it all away, but instead I find myself humming a harmonizing rhythm to this turbulent season. Glimmers emerge in the dark, catching light and sparkling, bringing me to notice the beauty. The bridge will come when the first forsythia blooms, signaling the end to winter’s fever.
In Raising Goosebumps, I have found the confidence to cope and move forward through the inexhaustibly murky moments of motherhood. Within the images, I make alternate worlds where I can escape from expectations to reconnect with my own childlike imagination and kid eyes. This is where I am granted relief and repair; all while turning the burning feeling in my belly into something magical. For me, the creative process runs to offset the aching I feel when experiencing my children’s own reoccurring fits and feelings of fragility that pepper the days. Seeing beauty through the camera’s lens, almost like a kaleidoscope, I take on the kind of awe and wonder that raises goosebumps on my skin. In this process of making, I discover new ways for me to perceive the ups and downs and make use of them. It is the stumbling that facilitates my fascination. Through all this, I am able to go deeper into myself for managing with renewed clarity and courage.
About Cate Wnek
Cate Wnek is a photographer, writer, and book artist based in Maine. She was recently selected as a finalist for the Lensculture Art Photography Awards. Her writing and pictures have been published in Lemonade & Lenses, Click, One-Twenty-Five Magazine, and DPI Magazine. She is a contributing photographer to Offset and Adobe Premium Stock. In 2015, she was named one of the Top 100 photographers to watch by Clicking Moms, and a Favorite Mom Photographer by mom.me. Born and raised in northern Virginia, she came to live in Maine for its mountains, oceans and love. Following a career on a global markets trading floor, she became hooked onto photography as a stay-at-home mother to two boys. She says, “the creative process is the means by which she processes the jagged journey of life and motherhood – the wondrous beauty and aching impermanence.” [Official Website]