Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color


We sat at the dining room table brainstorming a title for our book, a collection of photo essays.
Charlee, a professor of photography and colleague, opened a new file on her laptop and started typing relevant words and phrases, possible titles. Reinventing, renewal, in the wake of brain surgery, fractured, broken, healing, balance. We came up with a long list, but nothing really jumped out at us.
I brought out a thesaurus, then another. “Perhaps weather terms. A fog dispersing, dissipating.”
She paused in her typing. “Wouldn’t you say it’s about rebuilding yourself? Perhaps redefining.”
We came away happy with the process—it was fun. I always enjoy my time with her. But we didn’t manage to come up with anything definitive.
The next morning, lying in bed, I contemplated the issue. What was the collection about? It was about rebuilding and redefining. It was about my new life. It was about getting to know the new me in the wake of the surgeries.
The song my mother used to sing to me when I was a young came to mind:
“If you should meet a kangaroo walking out one day,
What would you do, what would you say?
I’d say, how do you do you do you do, Mr. Kangaroo?
I like you like you very much I’d like to dance with you.”
I am getting to know myself anew, and I like myself, the new person that I am, more than I liked the old me.
I’m doing fine, and similarly to the kangaroo, I like me, like me very much.
Though I’m not sure about the dancing part—my balance is a bit iffy today.