I know very little about this candid snapshot. Someone scrawled my name on the back, so I’m assuming it’s me. But it’s one of those pictures that raises more questions than it answers.
There’s a date stamp on the white border, which suggests the film roll was commercially developed. I hadn’t yet celebrated my first birthday, so what was the occasion? And whose shadow is that, hovering protectively over mine? Lost in the moment…so me. Probably concentrating on some newfound treasure, but I don’t know that for sure.
It’s not a keeper, in the traditional sense. But to me, it’s priceless, because it’s one of a handful of pictures that survived my itinerant childhood. And even in its blurry state, it manages to tell a story. My story. Here, the muted daughter of a fire-and-brimstone, fundamentalist preacher, who eventually found her own voice. Born into a cult-ish family, she eventually came into her own.
In this grainy, black-and-white photograph, I see also the broader picture. People don’t live forever. Snapshots fade, and memories gets swept into the dustbin of history. So don’t let your stories languish in a junk drawer (on a cell phone, a hard drive…). They belong to the collective, where they can be savored and shared.
That was and still is a very cute little baby…
Don’t you wish you could get into that baby’s mind just for a minute?
I love this photo and what you deduced from it. You are a story hunter and keeper. Good point about photos on phones and hard drives… now we can take so many, what to do with them all?
Photos are so important, an important record of our histories.
We professionally restored a torn sepia photo of my mother, aged seven. (My grandmother had written her age on it in ink–on the front!) We gave the framed, PhotoShopped photo to my mom for her birthday and she said we had given her back her youth. She remembered that the dress and hat(!) she wore were linen and that my grandfather had brought it back from Paris for her. She was holding some hydrangeas from her parents’ garden.
I love the photo and the shadowy story behind I know you’ll find/have found/are finding.
Thanks for sharing a profound and moving glimpse into your story.
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