Bon Iver is sitting on the floor in the attic thumbing through a box of family photos. In one, he is 9 years old, standing in front of the woodshed with his father, his buffalo check work shirt and blond hair covered in sawdust. It was the first time dad let him use the lathe. In another, he is 5, roughhousing with his brother in the backyard. He remembers the scrapes and bruises, but none of the pain.
Toward the bottom of the box he finds a photo of his mother when she was young. She is staring straight into the camera, and he feels almost as though she is looking at him. He remembers how she told him that she dreamt of him even before she met his father, how she knew the color of his eyes and the shape of his face and the smell of his skin long before he was born. He wonders whether anyone will ever know him as well as she did. He wonders if he will ever know himself that well.