When I turned 54, some lovely friends gave me a birthday card, one of those Hallmark jobs with a photo on the front intended to look “retro”. Suddenly, my skin pricked up, a shock traveled through my bones, and a jolt of memory revisited this scene. I knew this photo. This was my past. A fuzzy memory of my buried two year old self.
So, back I rummaged through boxes of old black and white family photos I’ve managed to hold onto, despite my endless moves and journeys, hurried departures from lovers in the middle of the night, and frenzied attempts to cleanse away my past. And amazingly enough, there it was, the photo I was nudged into remembering.
See the ghostly likeness??? It’s all there – the pixie haircut, the pudgy legs, the white socks, the black shoes, the white fluffy lace underslip under the same girly dress with the white collar, tied at the back. The 1950ish kitchen. Standing on the stool to get higher.
Creepy, how did Hallmark know???? How did my friends know????
But notice, the real two year old me wasn’t climbing on the counter, only wistfully looking up, wondering, plotting, imagining. Probably too timid to climb, though I bet I wanted to.
Courtesy of the greeting card industry, I can reimagine my 2 year old self anew. Only this time, I’m up on that counter, breaking the rules, taking the risks, leaving the ground.
What a birthday gift! A new and improved photographic vision of my own past.
Guest Blog by
Lee Ann Root, 2009