Two Sisters c 1947

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I came across this photo today of myself (seated) with my sister.  I remember the day my mother snapped this picture.  I was in quite a self-righteous mood because the chair I am sitting in had belonged to my grandmother.  It was given to me in my baby years — obviously, it was my chair.  On this particular day my mother decided to take some photos of my sister, sitting in the family “heirloom” chair, which by the look of it had seen better days.  I wasn’t the least concerned whether it was a family heirloom or not — all I knew is that it was my chair and I should be the one sitting in it.  Finally after hours of posing my sister, who by the way, is wearing my grandmother’s baby cap, which I was quite sure was also mine, my mother agreed that I might sit in the chair a moment to have my photo snapped.  It is apparent by my expression that this isn’t nearly enough to soothe my wounded ego.  I am ashamed to admit that my sister and I never really got along.  I always felt eclipsed by her.  I believe part of my resentment may have stemmed from my mother’s decision that each of her children, there were eventually 5 of us, have a label.  She designated one of my brother’s as the singer and musician.  My younger brother became the fixer of broken things.  My second sister, the lovable doll, and we all did love her and none of us minded this label for her.  The little beauty standing by the chair, was given the label of the ARTIST!  (Both of my parents were untrained artists.) Even when my teachers at school suggested I possessed a certain talent for art, my mother would deny it and present the talent of my sister in exchange.  So, what thing did my mother envision for me?  I was known as the “finder of lost things.”  I always knew where anything and everything was.  I was an observer with a keen eye for detail, and not much escaped me.  I don’t remember when I began to like being a finder of lost things.  I do know that as I matured it seemed a natural progression from finder, to seeker, and so partly my mother’s prediction has come true.   She probably would not be very surprised at all to know that I have also returned to art as a finder and a seeker.

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2 responses »

  1. Families are so strange, well meaning but for me strange. My mother decided early that my sister was from her family and I was from my father’s family in temperment, talents etc. Sadly, my father’s family, grandmother were rarely in my life and the gossip wasn’t good so I was left with a disconnect that lasted my growing years? I did appreciate my father’s artisan talents and grew into myself from what I loved but it wasn’t easy. All so unimportant now and I learned to let my children grow up without tags.
    You and your sister looked so much alike…beautiful children and a lovely chair!!

  2. Hmmm…our Mother’s sound very much alike.
    I think such experiences feed creativity. I like your images..I see layers of stories in them, and I think that is a good thing!

    I am a seeker too. 🙂

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