Standing on the Threshold

"Standing on the Threshold" is a project that began the last night I spent in the house I had known since childhood. After my parents passed away, I was left with the difficult task of quickly dismantling a house filled with memories. I only had a few hours until it would belong to someone else, and I was struck by the transitory nature of material possessions and how a life lived is summed up by small memories—memories that were packed in boxes and that might never be revisited.

In the middle of the night, I found myself standing on the threshold, facing a tree-filled garden transformed by the light of a full moon. The house that I had escaped from, held my past with its secrets. Even though I had never felt as if I belonged in that house, or belonged anywhere for that matter, I knew I would never be able to return to it.

Camera in hand, I was drawn into the garden. Using random long exposures, I began to photograph this darkened and mysterious landscape as if instinctually wanting to embody the way in which this liminal space defied the certainties of measurable time. Here is where I felt I belonged. The moon defined the spaces that were important and revealed a way to hold memories in a new incarnation.

Since that night, photographing during the full moon has become my ritual, my measurement of time and my world. Each full moon for me invokes the memory of that night, standing on the threshold. It has become the time and place that establishes a constant that I now call home.

—J.K. Lavin


Editor's Note: We discovered J.K. Lavin's work at LensCulture Fotofest 2013.