Monday, 11 May 2009

off topic

A comment I posted on Secular Thought for The Day. I'm not sure why I'm reposting it here, except that I've always had an eerie sort of feeling about why there are no photographs of me as a child:

There is exactly one photograph of me before I was about twelve years old. It is a picture of me at about 18 months being dunked in the cold water near a waterfall in the north of england in winter and (not entirely surprisingly) crying. I may also have been crying a bit about the outfit I was wearing, this being the 70s.

I'm the youngest of four children. There are hundreds of photos of my siblings - you can almost make a flipbook animation of them growing up. By the time I came along, it's safe to say that the novelty had worn off.

It is interesting that this one photograph of me has branded me as a troublesome baby. Since I'm crying in the only picture of me, everyone agrees that I must have cried all the time. People probably *tried* to get a photograph of me not crying, but they'd have had to be a damn fast shot before I was off again.

Photographing things in order to remember them is a curious pursuit, especially as it tends to change people's memories rather than reinforce them.

Or maybe that's the point. As a trigger to sentimentalism - even over-sentimentalism - photographs are great.

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