MARY STEENBURGEN + LILLY, CLEMENTINE AND GOLDIE WALTON
I think I have a case of writers block. Even though Im not a writer, right now there is definitely a block. Im starring at the blank screen and in my mind where usually there is a stream of conversational thoughts and recollections right now have been replaced by, dare I say it, feelings. Trying to articulate how special this day was to me is a tad overwhelming. You see Lilly is one of my closest friends. We met by chance during the summer of 2001. We were both living in New York and students at a theatre company. Except for my flatmate I didnt know a single person in that big ole city. I had expected many things to come from that time in New York but never a life long friendship with the graceful girl and the dancing green eyes.
And now here she stands. Of all the amazing things she has done and created none prepared me for seeing her as a mother. Straight off the plane and to her front door where we both stood staring at one another. Babies on our hips and children undertow was a sight we hadn’t prepared our hearts for. Yes, my friend is beautiful. Indeed her beauty is from another time and place but in this moment I had never seen her so beautiful.
Now if you knew Mary this would not be so surprising. It’s not hard to see where Lilly’s natural poise, beauty and grace comes from. Her warmth and kindness. Both have hearts so big I think it sometimes must hurt them to feel so much for other people. They both have a stillness, a calmness that draws you in and they both share a light, a love for life and laughter that you never not want to be around. In their minds they both are contestants on really, really bad reality TV shows and they both married really really great men (hello Ted, hello Charlie).
Together with their extended families Lilly and Mary have built this rare and special world that they have so generously shared with me and now my family. It is filled with friends, family, music, laughter, love, adventure, and really great conversation.
Thankyou for the opportunity to capture a brief glimpse into your world, your family X
Photographer Kane Skennar | Creative Direction + Styling Sheree Commerford | Makeup Bruce Grayson | Hair Jennifer Okeeler
By the lavender || Lilly wears JCrew white shirt and jeans, rag & bone hat with striped french vintage shirt | Clementine wears Baby Gap and vintage overalls | Mary wears Louise Green hat, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Rails denim shirt with vintage boots and concho belt from the family archives.
In the orchard || Lilly wears vintage dress and hat | Mary wears Louise Green hat, Ralph Lauren dress and wrap from Mamapapa | Clementine wears her ballet leotard and slippers with a Mamapapa tutu || Goldie wears Baby Gap
Lilly talks about her mum Mary Steenburgen…..
The matriarch of our tribe. Beloved mother, stepmother, dog mother, and dotting grandmother to Clementine and Goldie. Wife to Teddy. Oscar winning actress, songwriter and self-taught accordion player. Our enthusiastic camp counsellor who always has the best ideas and creates magic and fun wherever she goes.
Classic, effortless, easy. Polished but never too done.
A clairvoyant. Talking to dead people, crystal ball, magic potions-the works.
A contestant on The Amazing Race (with me)!.
She’s got loads of it. Of course there’s her over 30 year career as an actress but then one day she started hearing music in her head and it wouldn’t stop. Instead of ignoring it, she listened and years later is writing music in Nashville
with top songwriters. And she learned to play the accordion at 60!
Young girl from Arkansas got herself to where she is now. Sounds like smarts to me.
Generous, loving, inspiring and happiest surrounded by her family having a good laugh.
She is fiercely protective of her family and friends.
Reading a stack of books a mile high to my daughter Clementine.
Mary talks about her daughter Lilly…
Mother of Goldie and Clementine, making MAGIC of motherhood, loving her Charlie, making friendship an art of the heart, and dazzling her own mother by the beauty of the life she is creating.
Dreamy, unselfconscious, effortless and, because of her true beauty, both inside and out, she makes even clothes from Target look like the chic thing you simply must have.
Must have been something wonderful if Karma exists to be so very Lilly in this life
Something wonderful if Karma exists cause she spends her life racking up points.
She makes zucchini pancakes with a little yogurt sauce for her two year old’s dinner. That’s normal! Whether it’s cooking, acting, creating candles, parenting, loving her family, designing beautiful spaces for herself and others, she makes it look easy and, of course, none of it is. Her biggest talent is just the flat out GRACE she goes through life with. I shake my head in wonder at it all the time.
She virtually aced Wesleyan University a full year younger than her classmates AND had fun, maybe not the world’s best business brain ( no business genes handed to her from either parent) nonetheless she makes up for it in people skills, creativity and some sort of magical Lilly-Wisdom.
She laughs at herself so magnificently. She’s capable of highbrow but she watches The Bachelorette. Has her friend’s backs. A sister. Really, really crappy liar.
Ever since she was little I have thought of the phrase, ” still waters run deep”. Lilly is deep, deep water. Beautiful, wise, teeming with life, entrancing, sparking and just a little mysterious. There is music down there that only she can hear.
She’s in the thick of it..the mind robbing…sleep depriving…food stains on your clothes…no time for yourself…books collecting dust….blessed, heart stopping, frustrating, hilarious, treasured moment in life of parenting GINORMOUS spirits in two year old and seven month old bodies.
When Lilly was one day old, I had a ” moment” with her. I remember exactly where I was standing in our West Village apartment. I looked down at her and she gazed deep in my eyes and I said out loud,” oh my god! You are so independent!” It was such a strange thing to think about a newborn but I had connected to the deepest Lilly ( her friend America calls her the mermaid) who graces us all and loves us so deeply and so profoundly and so generously and then who sometimes swims back to her still water where a part of her has always lived. It’s her serenity and a part of her magic that she has such a place. I look up to her. I respect her like crazy. I am literally astounded by her natural instincts as a mother. How they shine when they look at her! As for me, it is, more than ever, an honour and an utter joy to be her mama.