Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part Four).

22 07 2012

Whenever I visit my mother random photographs appear. She doesn’t present them to me directly. I’ll find them lying on the mantelpiece next to the clock,beside the computer, or on the coffee table next to a coaster. I’ll glance at them briefly, feel a little bit sad, then pretend that I haven’t seen them. Inevitably my mother will ask me whether I’ve seen such and such a photograph. I’ll acknowledge that I have and then change the conversation. I find this habit unnerving.I’m not keen on photographs of myself, although the ones depicting a younger version of me aren’t that bad. The even suntan,the blue eyes,long sandy hair. These diluted colour photographs seem to portray some one reasonably healthy, fairly happy, and more importantly young. The sadness bit comes from having to acknowledge the ravages of time, the wrinkles,thinning hair,bags under the eyes and the wobbly neck. All a far cry from the smooth skinned glowing face smiling out from a a colourful Chinese kite back drop. I wasn’t afraid to show my teeth back then. But perhaps the picture that moved me most was the one my mother had placed on the mantel piece last week. Its a photograph made into a coaster depicting me leaning into my toddler son, his face alive with the child like wonderment of being photographed and having to say ‘Cheese’ to a camera with a noisy zoom lens. I’m still not sure why my mother places old photographs in random places around the house. I just wish she wouldn’t. To me they are just a stark reminder that all things must pass – and do.

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