Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Eyes that Looked into the Lens

I recently finished reading Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mystery, Among the Mad. I appreciated the image she created for me in the following paragraph.

"She spread out the photographs and began picking up each one in turn.... As she studied each successive image again, she smiled, and though the flat was chilly, she felt the residue of the evening’s warmth rekindled. Unwilling to wait until she could buy more frames, she brought a small box of drawing pins from the kitchen and began to pin photographs to the wall, and soon they flanked the painting of a woman alone on a windswept beach. Then she looked at each photograph once more. There were the Partridge boys sitting on the MG’s bonnet, and Priscilla and Maisie bearing the brunt of a snowball fight.... There were photographs taken during walks, photographs taken of the boys in the garden. And as she looked at the prints, she felt as if the eyes that had looked into the lens were looking straight at her, and she knew she belonged.”

Perhaps it's just the romantic in me, but I sense a connection, a belonging, when I see my ancestors looking at me from those old photographs, almost as though we are making eye contact. Is it the bond of family that I feel? I know the photographs are just images on paper, or on a monitor, and yet it is as though their souls somehow connect with my soul.

Do you feel a connection when you see photographs of your ancestors looking at you? Do you sense a bond and a belonging?

1 comment:

  1. Nancy:

    What a beautiful sentiment. I'll look at the photos of my ancestors differently from now on!


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