The Diary of a Kitchen Table:
An Accidental Series
By: Kelly Sutton of Horse & Feather
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the
table so it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe
at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what
it means to be human. We make men at it,
we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms
around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back
together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella
in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place
to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate
the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared
our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow.
We pray of suffering and remorse.
We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
while we are laughing and crying,
eating of the last sweet bite.
A vision of a place where our family would come together and grow and sit and laugh and share. Just four years ago, this space had yet to be. The rooms were smaller and darker, the walls were old, and sagging from the inside out. Surely, they would have fallen in the next earthquake. So down the walls came, with a few rebuilt, to keep safe, and make space for the family that now sits around our table.
And so came the photographs. I didn’t see it at first, how did I not see?! Maybe because it was not my intention from the outset.
For the last couple years, I have been working to document the history of our family, although this is the first year I began documenting daily. It wasn’t until I found myself looking backward upon these memories that I began to see the table as the center piece of so many images. It has become the heart of our home, just as we had envisioned for our family, so many years ago.