this is a picture of a picture. i thumb across it from time to time in my adult life, as i pack up and move from place to place. for the last several years it has earned somewhat of a decorative position in my home office space.
this is a picture of me when i was young. my dad would come home at 5:15 everyday and often bring home a stack of computer paper- the kind with the strip of holes attached to the sides- the kind that was one long sheet until you tore along the serrated edges to make individual sheets… i wish paper thrilled me as much as it did back then (and to my dad if you are reading this- 5:15 was always the best part of the day when you came home and better still when you brought paper)
two things inspired me to take a picture of a picture for this assignment.
#1- what is it about our dreams as children? children dream of being astronauts and scientists, heroes and presidents. such precious innocence we have as children- to believe ourselves to be capable of anything. and thats what dreams are for… being anything. i don’t remember when i decided i wanted to be a writer. when this picture was taken of me i did not want to be a writer. but i wrote every day. i scribbled on yards upon miles of that gifted, delivered paper. later i filled journals- wrote novels about gymnastics and dinosaurs, ponies and spiders… so my point is that i didn’t necessarily have dreams of who i wanted to be back then- but i was strangely living up to the ones i have now. i was able write furiously with effortless intention. and so on.
#2- my sister sent me some beautiful photos of her children. it is like being given candy (or for the sake of this writing- it is like being given…paper) you get some and you want more. unfortunately i watch them grow up too much through pictures, between visits. i ask my sister too much about her girls when i wish i could just ask them myself. but my point is this. if we couldn’t capture these things- through photographs, letters, by telephone… they would get lost. so i learn to take memories when i can get them and keep them. so when my nieces grow up to be (or forget to be- it doesn’t matter) ballerinas and aerialists, i can give them a picture of themselves from long ago- flying high on a swing or on pointed toes… and maybe it will matter to them in some way at some point. and so on.