On a scale of 1 to 10, just how weird is it to ask someone "Can I photograph your bible?" Everybody says photographers need to work on personal projects, and I claimed this one as my own -- and then did nothing more than think about it for the better part of a year.
Bibles are personal, special, sacred. The notes in the margin mean something. The underlined passages carry people through different seasons of life and remind them of what matters.
When we went to Mark's Great-Grandma Ruby's funeral on Saturday, I knew hers was the Bible to start this project. So much history was tucked into those thin, yellowed pages. Names and birthdates of her grandchildren (and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren), daily prayers, letters, pictures. I knew I would regret not asking for the chance to photograph it. This was truly an honor.
Ruby's bible was re-covered and bound (the first time) in 1969 when Pixie, their Boston Bulldog, chewed it up in protest of their baby favoring her brother's French Poodle. The details were written on a note inside. So were the dates and prices of when she bought her vacuum cleaner and painted her house. Her driver's license number. Her blood type. Mark's birth weight. Creed's birth story (where he was born, that I was staying with my parents, and that Mark was in Iraq). A #1 by Andrew's name since he was her first great-great-grandchild.
Mark's dad gave me the camera that belonged to his dad Charles, Ruby's youngest son. I love the ones of them together.
I am so excited to see where this project goes. (If you've seen me eyeing your bible, now you know why!)