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#DailyGratitude - memories


Self Portrait

Graphite and charcoal on paper

Bjlane c2010

The cardboard box had been sealed with packing tape since the move to a new home. Ever so gently, I peeled the tape back and exposed the dingy spell of old paper, ink, and dust. Staring up at me were two dimensional memories that had been hidden, recovered, packed and rediscovered. In front of me, the young child looked no more than three or four years old. Her legs were sticky underneath the hand sewn, white collared dress decorated in a crisscross pattern. Pressed cotton and starch had a distinct smell…earthy, warm and comforting. She breathed it in as she was lifted and placed on the photographer’s prop. Her eyes shifted to the side, avoiding the stranger who now stood behind the camera’s lense. The small hands on her lap gave her a hint of security. She wanted to hold them tight together, but the man said that wouldn’t do, and the mother separated them gently. “Hold still now” the woman said. The child touched her thumbs together. The camera clicked. A timid smile reveals the child’s tongue between her teeth and her short unevenly cut bangs. The familiar woman was beside her now, reassuring her that everything was ok…she could get down now. She felt relief when her shoes touched the floor ...

The memory fades, and the next photo is lifted out of it’s dark sarcophagus..

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