Monday, September 27, 2010

other people's history

house

i am
the youngest
and
my parents
started
a family
later
than most.
my grandparents
and
older relatives
passed away
before
i was five.

boyNbike

my father
is
an only child
and
my mother's family
lived far away
and
didn't
speak english.

i never
had
that time
to sit
with
my grandmother
and hear
her stories
about life
in france
or
listen to
my grandfather
tell us
how he
made his way
as a stowaway
on a boat
from
prague
to nyc.

couple1969

i yearn
for
those kind
of connections
to
my personal history.
i love
to leaf through
the old photos
that
we have
from
my grandparents
or
my mother
or father's
youth.

families1

but
many faces
are unfamiliar
and
i worry
that once
my parents
are gone,
who will remember
who these people are?

girlingarden

will they
be forgotten
like
the
vintage
photos
in stacks
at antique
stores?

pairs1

i cannot
resist
a pile
of vintage
photos-
always buying
at least
one.
i tape
them into
my journal
and
make-up
a story
or
brief
description:

couple_pink
Honeymoon- Oregon Coast
1968
We walked along the coast.
Joe lost his wallet.
We had dinner at the Cliffside Inn.


why was
this photo taken
at that moment?

who took
the photo?

other people's history

is odd
to be
fascinated
with a
history
that is
not one's own?

xo

ps.
none of these photos
are of anyone i know.

13 comments:

dennicapearl said...

amazing collection of vintage photos.

what a beautiful family :D


<3 dennica pearl
- through the eyes of a pearl
- vintage shop

Pravina Studio said...

my heart always catches a little when i see old family photos at vintage shops. like you, i relish old photos and i always find myself wondering...how did they end up here instead of in a treasured family box of photos?

nicole said...

I know exactly (exactly) what you mean. I only knew my mother's parents, and wish almost every day I could have talked to my dad's dad about his life in Greece before he left for the States. So sometimes I pester my dad, or I make up the stories.

I love old photos, too.

Tara Thayer said...

this breaks my heart a little. that first photo, that last line.

i don't know my history.
or at least anything "identifying."

it's an odd state, to be the last and first and just me all at once.

xo,
tara

shari said...

i feel so lucky to know/have known my maternal grandmother and grandfather so well. they have always felt like a second set of parents to me.

i cannot pass by the old vintage photos either. i brought home a portrait just the other day. perhaps i should share it with you? xo

lisa s said...

oh gosh no. vintage photos are so full of nostalgia - and who doesn't want a little nostalgia.... and sometimes they are the most amazing photos. michael kimmelman wrote about the accidental masterpieces of photography and how of course they are as treasured as intentional pieces of art....

love your collection

acoustickid said...

I thought the pictures were of your family. A very quaint collection though.

emily said...

oh i worry about this deeply and often. my father and his sister are both gone, my grandfather too. it's just my grandmother now, and i have a keen awareness of how so much is going to go with her.

alexandria said...

Your collection is quite wonderful and I love the idea of making up a story to go with. I too wonder if some stories will be lost if I don't pay attention. I try my best to keep them close.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

If it is odd to be fascinated with a history that is not one's own, I am very odd. The ability to make up stories is a gift. I hope you make many.

Toktokada said...

These are beautiful concerns. I always loved to look at my family's photos as well. Unfortunately at the time I could ask some questions to my own grand-mother I wasn't really into the all past process. I regret it now.

Tiger In A Jar said...

there is definitely something about looking at old pictures of family that really connects you to them. there are so many stories that need to be told!

Nic said...

Not odd at all. Makes perfect sense to me.