Play

We slept in canvas tents…

Words by Susan Conley, Photo by Winky Lewis. Read by Lolie Milspaugh.

Play

Today the Ocean is blue…

Hear Susan’s poem from week 14

Stop Here.
This is the place.

A new book by Susan Conley and Winky Lewis.

THIS IS A STORY ABOUT TWO FRIENDS — a photographer and a writer in Portland, Maine, who tried an experiment. At the start of every week for 52 weeks Winky sent Susan a photograph, and by the end of that week Susan sent a tiny story back — a moment in time that talked to the photograph. The photographs were of their children, and the street where they all lived (only one house separated their two families), and of other green places in Maine.

The mothers saw each other sometimes dozens of times a day — exchanging kids and dogs and emergency cups of coffee, but they never spoke about their experiment. There wasn’t time. Their lives often felt like they were spinning just ever so slightly out of control — like maybe motherhood was just one big race with no visible finish line.

But what happened while they weren’t looking was that their experiment began to slow time down. All the little marriages of words and image said, Stop Here. Because motherhood flies by. The days are long, but the weeks are short. We know we’re marking time with our kids, but how exactly? And how is it that the changes in those little bodies are so invisible, even when they’re happening before our very eyes?

Stop Here, This is the Place tells the story of a year in motherland. The camera watches the children’s arms and legs grow longer until any trace of baby in their faces is gone. The camera reports how long one year can feel in the life of a ten-year-old. Children look ahead. But mothers. We can always go back and remember.

 
Hear a selection from the book…

Week 14. The ocean is blue…

Words by Susan Conley, Photo by Winky Lewis.

Hear a selection from the book…

Week 10. We slept in canvas tents…

Words by Susan Conley, Photo by Winky Lewis. Read by Lolie Milspaugh.

 

Pages from Stop Here. This is the Place.

8

When I jump in, I can see my feet down below me…

10

We slept in canvas tents on wooden platforms at night…

15

Today the ocean is blue like a galaxy in outer space…

25

Sometimes my bedroom feels like that Jaques Cousteau movie I saw in 5th grade…

34

I remember the long curve of road along the Kennebec River, where the tar…

36

The fields have tufts of green hair…

40

I could tell you how to find me…

49

This is the part after the beach when the sun still feels like it’s burning my brain…

Deeply radiant, a meditation in light. A gem of a book to keep close by.

Megan Shull author of The Swap

A glorious feast for all the senses, Stop Here. This is the Place is a celebration of childhood, parenthood, friendship, and acts of the imagination.

Lily King author of Euphoria & Father of the Rain

What a wonderful collaboration between friends, moms, neighbors, and storytellers — a way to step back from the life you lead and put it in a time capsule.

David Mclain National Geographic Photographer

I loved the surprise of this book. The photographs feel as intimate as my favorite family snapshots. The prose is real and beautiful and pulls me back through time.

Elizabeth Gilbert author of The Signature of All Things & Eat, Pray, Love

In this remarkable series of epistles, Lewis and Conley speak in the private and particular vernacular of friendship and family — a language so intimate it’s universal.

Eliza Griswold

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Momfilter Mentions Stop Here!

Momfilter Mentions Stop Here!

Along the way Susan and I learned to respect this project and let it grow organically.

Order Now. Winky Lewis and Susan Conley, a photographer and a writer in Portland, tried an experiment. At the start of every week for a year, Winky sent Susan a photograph: of their children, of the street where they live as neighbors, and of other green places in Maine. By the end of that week Susan sent a tiny story back that talked to the photograph. Stop Here, This Is The Place tells the story of a year in which children’s arms and legs get longer, and traces of babyhood fade — a year that feels interminable to a ten-year-old looking forward and fleeting to that ten-year-old’s mother, who can always stop here, go back and remember. This delightfully evocative gift book is a reminder to stop and enjoy the precious time we have with our kids while we have them. Through Susan's recollections of moments from her childhood and the ongoing lives of her children, we’re reminded of our own childhoods, and of the necessity to stop and pay attention, to hold on.