the family issue : kinfolk

The following text is found on the WELCOME page of Kinfolk’s latest publication, Issue Seventeen. 

Our concept of family is deeply personal and forever evolving. For some, it could mean mom’s knowing glances, your partner’s gentle chiding or grandpa’s turkey gravy. For others, it could be found across the hedge you share with your neighbour, in the reciprocal banter you relish with friends or the unrequited love you have for your cat. The common thread is that the people we consider to be our family encourage us, teach us and care for us, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part (or at least until our childhood bedrooms get turned into guest rooms).

The Family Issue of Kinfolk explores the relationships that we have with our nearest and dearest, in all of their iterations. We ask some big questions: How is photography changing the way we construct our family narratives? Should we feel guilty about speaking to our barista more than our sister? And did our parents actually have any idea what they were doing? Each family has its ups and downs, but by recognizing the imperfect nature of our ties, we can work to better both our relationships and ourselves. As George Bernard Shaw said, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”

What we discovered is that there are as many possibilities for the way we turn out as adults as there are child-raising philosophies, educational systems and organic baby bootie makers (there really are a lot of the latter, too). No matter what kind of family we come from or the type of family we want to create ourselves, there’s no longer a universal concept of “normal.” There’s no ubiquitous manual to consult, rules to follow or boxes to check. Well, maybe just a few: love, understanding, empathy and support. And perhaps a little patience.

Words by Nathan Williams and Georgia Frances King. Photograph by Emory Ann Kurysh. 

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  • Hello, friends. My name is Emory. I live on the Canadian prairies with my husband, daughter, and animals. Welcome!
    helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

  • Thank you to all those who liked, commented, and sent me messages yesterday. I am overwhelmed by your love. I would like to share one more thing. Since 2013, I have used my blog as a creative outlet and my Instagram account as my diary. I feel it’s a much better platform to reach out to others, and to be more truthful (if we dare). I try to only follow those who don’t always show the ups and highs of their “perfect” lives. While I think that the more popular, beige square, ad-infused, California chic, glam mother accounts are beautiful, I also find them to be depressing and unoriginal. A miscarriage is real. It is nothing to be ashamed of. If you don’t choose to discuss yours, that’s totally fine! I needed to share mine in order to begin my grieving and healing process. I am now a mother to two children. This is something that I did not want to, nor will I ever hide. Yes, our second child came much too early and did not survive, but that does not make his/her life any less worthy. Our baby was alive at one time. Our baby has a soul. Now, our baby has a name and will forever be part of our family. We are a family of four- three on earth and one angel in heaven. So, thanks again all. Sadness. What a difference a year can make. Last holiday season, Remy turned 10 months old. She had just gotten her first two teeth, and on Christmas morning, had learned to crawl. This year, we are mourning the loss of our second child. I suffered a miscarriage this week, and it has left a deep void in our family. This was going to be our Christmas card where we revealed to friends and family our joyous secret. Now, it remains one of our only photos as a family of four. Because of this, I want to share it with the world. Give your children an extra hug and kiss for me tonight. You are so blessed to have them. All my love, Emory.
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