Ashly Stohl: The Days Are Long & The Years Are Short: 2019, Signed
"There is a saying that all portraits are really self portraits. So what are portraits of your kids? They are portraits of a parent. I take pictures of my kids, and if you’ll look closely you’ll also see me in there – my worries and fears, my attempts to correct the problems of my own childhood, my heart and my struggles.
Motherhood isn’t talked about enough in public places. Oh they say it’s the most important job in the world, but it isn’t treated that way, is it? People like it when you talk about the wonderful aspects, like hugs and fireflies in a jar, and of course that stuff makes everyone feel good. Motherhood is wonderful, but it’s also hard, and women only talk about the hard parts conspiratorially over a glass of wine, or late at night on the internet in private groups and instant messages. I want to talk about it in public because I’m tired, and when I’m tired the filter between my brain and my mouth (or keyboard) completely breaks down. Can we just talk about what it’s really like, like out in public? Sorry if it makes you uncomfortable. Actually not sorry.
In parenting circles, people often say, “the days are long and the years are short,” and for me nothing has ever felt so true. When Sara was a colicky newborn, I didn’t think I could survive a single day, and now she’s seventeen and going to college. Where did it go, all that time when the clock moved so slowly? Well some of it is in these pictures – the good, the bad and the ugly. The days I was my best, and the days I was not, and the same for my kids. It’s all there in our memories and in these pictures, The Days & Years."