Ellen Galinsky

I have always looked at my work as an adventure.

In the way that rock climbing or exploring new lands or flying are adventures, my work feels like an adventure to me. Rather than scaling the highest peaks or seeking a new land, I have followed questions. Questions that I think matter. Questions that I think will help me if I find an answer. Questions that I think will help others if I find an answer. And in spending my life following questions, I have found that an answer, or a partial answer, always leads to new questions. There is no lack of things to wonder about, to be curious about, to seek to know.

The books I have written are adventures in finding answers to questions:

How do parents grow and change led to my book, The Six Stages of Parenthood.

What do children think about their employed fathers and mothers led to my book, Ask the Children.

And how can we keep the fire of learning burning brightly in children’s eyes led to my most recent book that involved ten years of research, Mind in the Making.

My research has likewise been fueled by the desire to seek answers to questions about how employers and employees are responding to the changes in work and family life today. And the organization that I co-founded 21 years ago, the Families and Work Institute, has been pursuing these questions ever since.

Photography has also been a way that I have sought answers to some of life’s most seemingly intractable questions. The question I have been pursuing for more than three decades is: what happens to what we try to create, try to build, try to maintain, try to preserve? We spend so much of our lives attempting, each in our own way, to leave indelible footprints that will outlast us. Yet on a daily basis, we fight against the encroachment of dust and decay.

I have spent the past three decades photographing this stunning nexus between death and rebirth, following how nature re-sculpts our creations all over the world.

It is probably not surprising that I am an iterant worker in my own home and in my workplace. I didn’t even have a home office until about three years ago. At first I had a pad of paper and then I had a portable computer. With each new project, I find a different place to work. My latest workspace is in my son’s old bedroom, but now that Mind in the Making is finished, my computer and I may just find a new place to go.

Ellen Galinsky