A Rusty Window into Her Past

August 19, 2011

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They fell from the bottom of a stack of photos. Much smaller in size than the others, with serrated edges, and slightly faded from age, these two photos were of my mom back when she knew no worries of adulthood. Something deep inside me stirred and I was filled with overwhelming emotions as I examined the photos I found in a drawer. As if looking through dim windows, I tried to make out the scenario that unfolded before and after the photos were taken, all along questioning the subjects in the photos. What is she thinking? Who is right next to her? What is my mom holding in her hand? Where does the door behind her lead? How much time passed between the two photos? And so my mind wondered to the far away fields in the background, searching for the lost strings that might bring me back to the kid’s life captured in the frame. With almost fifty years separating me and the photo, I cared little if it was slightly overexposed, and one of the faces out of focus, and thankful to the person who decided to leave the scene just as it was, raw, with bucket hanging on the fence, a stick leaning against it, and my mom wearing a dress stained from continuous use. And that makes me appreciate the power and the magic behind a photograph. Be it a rusty scratched up window, but nevertheless a window that takes me into the world that can no longer be recreated. How special it is, to create these timeless windows for others.