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Thursday
May152014

An Old Box of Photos #throwbackThursday

I have a box of old photos that goes back almost seventy years. They are all so intentionally… intentional. Today, the intention is to not look intentional.

Don’t want to look like I care too much about what you think. But want to look like I care. See me in a way that makes you feel like I’m not hiding anything from you, but do hide enough to be interesting. Feel like you know me, but don’t know me too well.

The dance of the twenty first century photo swims in the struggle to appear vulnerable without actually being too vulnerable.  For some, that’s also flavored with little specks of intention that seek to elicit envy, as well. Don't like the photo? Simply delete and snap again. Life is one big Mulligan in the digital photo age. 

I have a box of old photos that were taken without the knowledge of how they would turn out. Isn’t this the ultimate act of hope? Stand here! You over there! Click. Wait until the roll finishes. Drop off the film. Wait a week. Pay for the photos. Sit together as a family and look at them. Did it work? Are we believable? Do you think the world really thinks we’re the people we look like in this photo? Yes. The photo turned out nice. This is how we will remember who we are. 

I cannot bear to look at old photos anymore. Our story was not that story. The truth lived behind layers of grown up lies so complex that the grown ups didn’t know they were lies. In the sepia toned grains of the photo live subtle warnings to the children in the photos to never expose those lies. Don’t ruin the picture. All will be lost. These photos were the stories of people that stood where they were supposed to while someone clicked.

In the moments between the clicks and the moment in the living room when we all looked at them together lived the belief that we children would look at those photos years from now and forget those secrets. Didn't they know, though, that secrets are unforgettable because they are secrets. Secrets must be held close to the heart and this ensures their eternal life. As long as the heart beats, the secrets it holds will live. Illusions require the utmost attention and care to be maintained, too. You cannot forget a secret until it is revealed. You cannot recognize an illusion until you let it go.

Our secrets may not have been as dark as the secrets that others have kept, but they were secret enough to destroy the realization of any hopes that our illusions would prevail.

I have a box full of old photos.

Point. Click. Forget.

Faiqa, Age 6

 

Reader Comments (1)

It is such a simple premise and so beautifully understated, it can be nothing other than a profound truth.

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKay Mazorol

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