I wrote this on 21st January 2016 which is some time ago. I have just lost the person that I am describing in the story and so I thought to post it.
I found a Photograph
There was a photograph. I can’t exactly remember how I found it, it was in one of the albums we were going through. I was so conscious of the limited amount of time I had and was almost desperate to see as many pictures as I could, to somehow absorb all these images before it was time to head back to the ship. There were too many albums, all containing randomly ordered pictures. It would have been impossible. Yet somehow that picture surfaced and it grabbed me.
The photograph seemed to suck me in. Karen couldn’t tell me who it was, but I knew instantly. The reason I knew, I see it more clearly now, is that I could see myself in this picture. I don’t mean in an airy fairy transcendental way, but in a deeply resonant and physical way. It is my own face I see staring back at me, my bone structure, my hairline, my features. There was no doubt who this was.
I’m deeply moved when I look at this photograph. It’s a snapshot in time so loaded and yet so mysterious. I took a poor quality iphone snap of the photograph so that I could take it away, and I look at it often. I look at it for a long time and my thoughts drift to times gone by, to my history, to the people who are my flesh and blood and yet so foreign, so detached, so other. The conclusion every time is that I’ll never really know the story of this photograph.