• Jo Mercurio

Touchstones - Keeping the love but not the stuff

Updated: May 24, 2020

Hi, I’m launching a new line in my photography business called “Touchstones”.

My brother died at age 61. He hadn’t let anyone into his apartment in 20 years. No one. He was always dressed and groomed neatly. How he did that living in his apartment is a bit of a mystery. His coworkers and I emptied that apartment, mostly into a dumpster. A 50 gallon fish tank, furniture, records, clothes. I kept the cards he had saved from family including the one from me in his jacket pocket on his final trip to the hospital. I kept his Army 82nd Airborne medals, ribbons and wings, stored in a basement box that he’d told someone to look for. And I said to his coworker as we hauled the rest up to the dumpster, “Let this be a lesson to us. When we croak, our stuff is going to go to Goodwill or into a dumpster.” Heartbreaking and true. It has motivated me to start releasing stuff. I gave away some of my lucky rocks. Hey, it was a start. I still have his Airborne things, some ties, a journal, old address books. It takes time.

With Touchstones imagery, I want to create a memory that honors your loved one's things and brings a smile to your face. A photograph archivable in print for 100 years, or a digital image that rotates on a display where you see it often, can bring to mind those special relationships.

With documentary or modern art styles I’ll photograph the clothes, jewelry, memorabilia or other objects precious to you, that you know you can’t keep forever, and your kids aren’t going to want. Then in your own time, when you are ready, you can let those objects go. Keep the love.

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