Posted by: deadmousediaries | September 27, 2012

Forever 5:23 – a reflection from Mitchell Kyd

One of the very best thinly veiled Christmas gifts I ever gave was hiring Thomas Anderson to do a photo shoot for me. I presented the finished album to my dad but even then, what I had asked Thomas to do was selfishly for me.  His work is fresh, original and striking and I knew he would create exactly the images I wanted. Tempus fugit and at a frightening rate. Like a jack-in-the-box wound too tight, it sometimes lies coiled in the dark, ready to whirr out of control the instant you turn your back. Time flies and I was  chasing it then knowing that the world as I knew it would eventually stop spinning.

The assignment I had given Thomas was to pin down the spirit of my parents and their  farm in single, freeze-framed moments so that the glorious, ordinary details of normal life would not be lost to time. I’m not sure if he had to coax the fairies or out-trick the tricksters but he did make time stop before it wriggled free again and he delivered 300 spectacular photos. His eye for the patterns and incongruities in the tiniest of details stumped even my dad as we pored over some of the images trying  to summon the exact perspective Thomas must have seen through his lens.

One of my very favorites from the first day of his shoot is this one of a shelf in my dad’s workshop. My mother hated it; it shows clutter. To me, it looks like something magical in the making, It smells of sawdust and sounds like a hand plane smoothing the edges of  pine boards on their way to becoming a jelly cupboard or a treasure chest. I love the masking tape labels. For my entire life, glass jars of important guy stuff  like locknuts and ninepenny nails lined his workshop shelves.  Each was distinct, bearing my dad’s meticulous block printing done with a flat, red carpenter’s pencil that sometimes rode above his ear.

The thing I love most about this photo is the clock. Dad kept clocks everywhere.  He made them; he rescued and revived them from auction box lots. It never really struck me that time was really that important until we had to move his things.

It was a year ago today, September 27th, 2011, that my world indeed stopped spinning. Time stopped the day my dad got to fly away, leaving no one here to wind the clocks or replace their batteries. Thomas, I am so grateful for your talent and your artist’s eye. Because of you,  it can be forever 5:23 in my dad’s workshop and I can go there anytime I like. And I do.

Watch for more of  “my”  Thomas Anderson originals coming to this blog space or visit him on FB at Thomas G. Anderson Photography. Never underestimate the importance of capturing the ordinary day for someday that memory will be extraordinary.



  1. I am so happy to be reading this. For I had lost you until I looked in my old email that I have not checked in 6 months and there were 20 posts of yours that I did not know existed. Will you please throw away my yahoo account and send all your wonderful stories to me at How are you and when will we catch up? Maya

  2. I cannot believe it has been a year…………..may the pictures and memories surround you, sustain you, help you smile and make you feel warm. Blessings my friend.

  3. Thank you for reminding us all that we have but a finite amount of time for this lifetime and that it’s the simple joys and treasures which sustain us daily. Bless you, my friend. Cathy

  4. I can relate to your thoughts so well. I was with my brother yesterday putting fall flowers on our parents’ grave. I cherish the memories when I can share stories about our loved ones. I love the pictures when I can go back in time and I relish those good times.
    Thanks so much for words well written!

  5. You continue to amaze me! These words are so eloquently written with heartfelt passion. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  6. So touching! The Anderson’s ❤

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