Tuesday, April 06, 2004
worth a thousand words
Do you have copies of these pictures? In a drawer or in the back of an album? A shoebox, maybe? Mine are in a small photo album that I take out now and then. Alone or together, the pictures don't mean much. They aren't representative of a great vacation, an interesting story, a happy holiday. I have no idea what year either picture was taken. I can't say for sure where they are in the pictures. But they mean so much more to me.
These two pictures show something more than the people in them. These are my parents, but that's not the point. These are my parents, they way that they were. When they met, fell in love, married, and had me. Who they were before careers and cable bills and car insurance and babysitters filled their days. Who they were when they were young. The people that are still hiding inside, buried under years of age and wisdom and hardship and struggle. These are the people that they see when they form a mental picture of themselves. The reason that they take a double take when they see wrinkles around their eyes, lines around their mouths, grey hair at the temples. The mirror doesn't show who they are. They are these people. Two young minds, setting out in the world. Wrenching on a VW bus or relaxing under the redwoods. These people are my parents, but the people in these pictures are the parents that I will never know. They gave up themselves to bring me here. I'm thankful and humble, but a little sad just the same. I'll never get to know the people that they really are... because they'll never be more or less than my parents.
I wonder if my own children will think the same. Look back at my photographs and wonder. Wonder about the style, the time, what was going on in my head? Wonder how I could wear those ridiculous shoes, those awful pants, that boring hairstyle. I will only shake my head back at them... if only you knew... I was young once, too