Train Gone

 

Jamie Patterson
Digital Documentary Photography
December 2009

Train Gone is an idiom in American Sign Language used when someone enters a conversation or situation beyond a place in which others can or want to catch the new person up. Usually used a joke, “Train gone, sorry,” as in, “You missed it,” the idea is used here to represent those cross-cultural convergences between Deaf and Hearing worlds (or within Deaf worlds) when communication breaks down and information is lost. But Train Gone can also represent a moment so important that it cannot be relived or retold in its entirety. It is in these moments that relationships are developed and lives are shared.

I have known the Watson family for eleven years now, and have spent a number of Thanksgivings with them, including Robert and Jean’s son, my fiancé Kevin. I have come to know the richness of Deaf culture and the value of family that is shared within this group of people. These photographs were taken out of 800 images over the course of one week, as I spent night and day with this family.