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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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife, mother of two (one earthside and one with the angels), and an animal rescuer. This is our life on the Canadian prairies.

  • Man, did Remy and I have a standoff this morning. All because she didn’t want to wear socks with her boots. She threw a massive tantrum, and I yelled at her. Afterwards, we went for our walk and everything was back to normal. That is, aside from her puffy eyes and tear-stained face. My poor girl. Parenting can be so hard sometimes. Thank goodness for children being so resilient. 
That disaster behind me is nearly gone. We’re currently installing the last of our kitchen shelves, and our new sink arrived this morning. I’m excited to have a less cluttered spare room!
Have a wonderful week, everyone. This room has not yet been touched by us. It is our master bedroom. Everything about it (aside from our furniture) is exactly the same as when we purchased our home. I think that if we do list in the near future, it will be the only room in our house that we did not renovate. Part of me wants to stay just to finish it. A small part.
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