Take Care of All of My Children

Take Care of All of My Children” is based on a collection of pictures I took on the evening of June 6, 2013. The idea started when I found the deflated balloons on the sidewalk and I was reminded on the Tom Waits song “Take care of all of my children,” from his album Orphans, which says

Take care of all of my children
Don’t let them wander and roam
Take care of all of my children
For I don’t know when I’m comin’ back home

This song is, in my mind, an odd blend of a parade march and an old hymn, and thinking of this song while staring at this mass of balloon I started wondering about the story behind the balloons.

Perhaps some children were playing with their bunch of balloons and the balloons floated away and popped and landed there. Perhaps they were walking in the heat of the day and the balloons ran through the tree and popped and were left there.

A lost set of balloons, childless and therefore incomplete. Aside from the emptiness of the balloons, my walk made me reflect on the world we’re creating for the children. Cigarette butts, and factories, and sprinklers line the city streets and I started to think about the world the children will inherit.

The collection of photographs became a reflection on the future. The album beings with “A” and “B” pictures of balloons, a typical childhood toy, that lack air and are left empty on the ground. Which is to say, “Maybe we will rob our children of a future if we are not careful with how we use technology, and how we manage our resources.”

This leads into C – I which depict “Artificial Rain”, and the “Flora of the New Age,” as a way to reflect that maybe we are creating a world better suited for machines than for humans. The album ends with J and K to restate the initial theme of childhood, and the questions “Why are the balloons deflated?” and “Where is the child?”.


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