Family Photograph

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The photograph is black and white and was possibly taken about the year of 1900.  It is a photograph of the nine children of the Wood family.  My grandfather George was one of these children.

I feel a great attachment to the photograph.  It is like looking at a still from a movie as I take a peek into the story of their lives.  They are all dressed in high fashion of the day and are posed in the garden having a tea party.

Grace looks to be the eldest and sits at a small table with a cloth draped over it.  She looks very poised with her eyes lowered to the teapot raised in her hand.  She wears a beautiful wide brimmed hat, a sash around her waist and a dress high to the neck with puffed sleeves.  Louie stands to the left of her facing the camera and holds a tray of sandwiches in her hands.  She wears a similar dress but looks more severe in a black hat.  They remind me of Russian Tsarinas.  George sits on a cane chair to the left of her and side on to the camera.  He is very suave and must be about twenty years old.  He wears a boater straw hat jauntily on the back of his head showing off his thick black hair.  He looks assured leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed, teacup in hand and neat black moustache.  To the right of Grace stands Fred, Ida and May. Pretty young Ella sits in a chair smiling at the camera.  A big thick sheepskin rug is in front of the table where the two younger children sit, Marie with a bonnet and Percy with a straw boater.

I have never met my Grandfather George, he died before I was born.  I only have this family photograph and the stories my mother has told me about her father to imagine how he would have been. He died at the young age of thirty eight.

I think how important the photograph is to me to have captured that day when the family was gathered together, documented for me to see two generations later. I have been told the story of their lives and have that knowledge as I look at the photograph.  It is as though I know more about what is to happen to them than they do.  Even though I have never met anyone in the photo the connection is strong.  Their blood runs in my veins.

Graciously they lived, each having their own story to tell, all caught in the history of time.

 

Pues sola hay una

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Ruth Sancho Huerga


Todo lo que hoy escriba
me va a saber a poco.

Describir su sonrisa diaria de amapola
y esas bromas conjuntas de jardin de verano,
sus lagrimas de escama cuando el desprecio hiere,
sus pasos de gorrion
o su dormir de nube,
se me hace muy escaso
o suena a prototipo.

Hablar de sus poderes
y consejos de bruja,
sus estudios de master en “Pocimas de Amor”,
de su orden obsesivo de dicator febril,
su paciencia de Santa,
su entrega transparente como fuerza del rio,
sus rabietas de cria
o lo bien que le sale la comida el domingo
no parece que sean
materia para halagos
o versos de marfil.
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Mother’s Day Remembrance

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Gabrielle Morgan

      I walked under the old elm trees. It was a cold winter’s day and the air was sharp. There was no one to break the stillness. I was conscious only of the dank smell of wet leaves underfoot and the sheep and cattle grazing peacefully in the paddock across the creek.

At last it was possible to be myself, away from people.  My thoughts were in emotional turmoil. Watching death creep insidiously through my mother’s body as cancer claimed her was hard to bear. I tried to grasp the inevitability of losing her. She was noble in her dying, never complained.  “Andy’s randy today,” was all she would say when beset with pain.

Continue reading “Mother’s Day Remembrance”