Mortality: Black and White

Running Ahead and Looking Back

I used to think that mortality would go on and on.

The starting place was clear but the finish line could not be imagined.

I thought that I would always remember things.

I could not imagine that things would change as much as they have.

I appreciate that the best way to measure the passage of time is by looking at photographs of children.

 I admit that today I am looking back far more often than I am looking ahead.

 I am wondering if what I will leave behind will be enough.

I am grateful that there are photographs.


(Uncle Daniel and Holden)

With each passing year I find that I weigh things more and more on an imperfect scale.

Things I once thought I could not live without have receded and taken their proper place. 

Other things have moved to the front and want attention.

In retrospect the value of things is clear.

I am not certain what the sign posts will say as the days pass and I look down what is left of the road.

Will I need a horse or simply a little snack to make it through the journey?

Interesting thoughts to fill a person’s mind.


( Clara and Lydia in Grandma’s backyard putting grass down each other’s backs )

I am always trying in my mind to get a glimpse of them like this but I can’t maintain the focus.. Today they are not as carefree and silly as the photograph suggests rather they have become more serious and wonderful in other ways. I can sit down and watch them grow from babies to adults by browsing through my photographs. How would I remember all of my grandchildren and their stages and changes if that was not possible? How did my ancestors remember their children and grandchildren without photographs? Did their memories fade until they questioned them altogether?

If you are growing older, you might understand what I am going to say. It makes me sad. It makes me lonely. It haunts me. Time used to move slowly when I was younger. Now, time and I feel as if we are racing.  Even though I am in touch with the way they look today and the things they say and do, I feel that I am fading away as the days go while they are coming into focus. I expect that the world sees things in that way. That is what it is to grow up.


(Afton dresses up at Grandma’s house )


Child’s Play is serious. 


Children play with props and costumes as do adults. Photographs collect the clues to personalities and freeze them in time. I can conjure up a million memories about this child from the props and costumes she has appeared in thus far in her sweet life. If not props and costumes then little quirks and special characteristics like smiles or frowns or something in the eyes. I especially love the little wand. It is small but she performs magic with it. I have seen it.



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