My Mother has placed a photo of her younger self next to our computer.
The sun faded photo sits in a little gold and burgundy frame, watching over me as I write- I wonder as to why it’s there, why she decided to prop up this memory of a distant school girl within it’s own little space.
It smiles out at me, this keepsake, beaming happy radiance; My mother’s younger self is beautiful, filled with the kind of happy contentment that’s fueled by blissful innocence and simple pleasures. I still see this in her face now. I see it in my own face, on good days; a heady feeling of exuberant happiness, induced purely by being alive. It makes her beautiful. I wonder, does this mean I think happiness is beautiful?
One thing that strikes me as particularly beautiful about my mother in this photo is her freckles, perhaps because they are far more illustrious than my own. Our shared genetics are etched across this image of her younger self and my own current reflection, plainly visible within the interchangeable mops of deep brown hair, the chestnut brow eyes my entire family seems to possess, and our near identical grins.
Those freckles mark a difference between us- an enticing difference, something that perfectly encapsulates the mysteries of her past life, the past life of someone who knows me better than anyone.
I can listen to stories, or read antiquated letters, or look at old photos such as this; but I can never truly know, or experience, as my Mother has experienced my life. I regret this, almost, as ridiculous as that sounds.
I would have liked to have followed the trails of all those unknown freckles.
(drawn with a Sakura Pigma Micron 04.)