I was twenty here, I think. Bob, my first husband, was taking a photography class. He loved taking pictures, always; his grandfather had been a pal of Ansel Adams, the two men taking cameras and mules into Yosemite Valley together way back when.

      We were out behind the ramshackle old house we rented a part of, in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, during Bob's Navy stint. I posed up against the brick that made the basement. Likely in front of me was the derelict Morris Minor my father had left there before his most recent flight from the law and who knows what all. Bob kept me within very narrow boundaries of expression, tripping into murderous rages if I crossed his lines. But there, for that photo session, I remember feeling something real emanate from me, safely between the banks of the channel he allowed for me, undetectable to his sensors. And so I've treasured that photo.

      His assignment was to make 16 exposures from very light to nearly black, to explore the effect of exposure on the mood and tone of the subject; indeed, those 16 exposures revealed something of myself to me. What I want to say here, behind the picture are words that came to me yesterday, as if out of nowhere:

A kind man is one who can say "No" resolutely and without anger.

A brave man is one who can say "Yes" even in the face of the known.

      Perhaps these words summarize what I learned from Bob. And my father. Exposure developed, with attention to contrast.