Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gladys And The Genetic Cord


Another in my "Picture Within" series and this time the focus is a personal one, for that is my mother looking straight at me with an intent gaze and a troubled frown. My portrait is cropped from a larger one which features Gladys with her mother and father and her elder sister Amy.

But as soon as I started scanning the larger photograph and examining it in detail, I was drawn to my mother. There is something about the composition which just draws your eye to her face and challenges you to guess her emotions. She is standing there supported by two knees, two parents, and by a kind of grim determination.

That determination allowed her to see out 92 summers, It saw her through two world wars and her fair share of uncertain  times. I look at that face and ask myself whether I can see the older woman who was my mother. I even look at it and ask whether I can see myself in that face, for, to be sure, there is a  genetic umbilical cord that joins any two generations.

I think I can. I hope I can.

24 comments:

  1. oh i cn def see that determination in her eyes...also maybe a little early training in being a mother as i think i saw that look on my moms face before...smiles

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  2. A very clear image of your mother's face Alan. She's looking very solemn and perhaps a little unsure, but as you say there was no need as she was surrounded and supported by loving family.

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  3. She does look a bit overawed - perhaps the effort of standing still so long. I don't imagine she was always that serious. There's a definite family likeness in you. Oh & BTW I have discovered there is at least one Green Lion pub, in Rainham in Kent. Apparently Green Lion is some kind of alchemy symbol.

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  4. It's no good Jenny, you can't claim a point for the Green Lion in Rainham unless you've drunk a pint there.

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  5. Yes, she is not going to be defeated. She is a little be tiffed about the amount of time it takes to get the photo snapped. Two world wars in one life time is amazing. The second one being so close. It is hard to imagine what all that she faced to survive 92 years.

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  6. Absolutely lovely... meaning the photo, and the post. Thanks.

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  7. You're so lucky to have a photo of your mother at such a young age. I've never seen a picture of my mother before she was 18. Her family was extremely poor and they didn't take pictures early on.
    Isn't it interesting seeing yourself in your parents, or actually, nowadays seeing your parents in you as you begin to act and look like them more and more.

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  8. Who inherited that wonderful fob watch? Was it perchance passed down by mother?

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  9. CB : I never saw it - and my brother and I were the only Grandchildren. So, perchance, I suspect it's in Dominica.

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  10. Hmmmmmm... She looks a bit impatient with the cameraman to me. I once worked briefly for a children's photography studio and I can tell you that the youngest ones were always the hardest to keep still enough to get a decent photo. Heh, heh! I guess some things just don't change no matter how much time passes.

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  11. The other thing that would be interesting is the methods used in taking the photo...posing? Light? Composing?
    Now was your Mom a serious person throughout her life?

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  12. That dear girl saw 92 summers. Isn't that wonderful? How I wish I had a photo of my mother at that age.
    You've made some interesting observations here. A Very nice post.

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  13. Oh yes, she does look determined! Standing still for those photographs was tough...especially for a child. And she did it well!
    Love your words here...wonderful thoughts!

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  14. Well, let's hope it works out as good for you as it did for her. Long life, man, long life!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  15. That's a gritty expression, Alan. The girl had spirit, that's for sure.

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  16. Oh, this is precious!

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  17. The intensity of her look makes me wonder about her thoughts or feelings, and yes, there is a bit of resemblance. I hope you and GLW are keeping well.

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  18. Wonderful old family photograph..she does look determined:)

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  19. I have heard that if you look at a person's face intently enough you can somehow see all their ages. That is a most remarkable portrait.

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  20. Wonderful picture and terrific post. The eyes are indeed compelling!

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  21. She looks like a striking and interesting little girl. One that it might not be easy to have in your school class, but rewarding and interesting.

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  22. That truly is a brilliant photograph. I have to say, they all look a little er, intense.

    Your mother is a very compelling child - in every sense of the word. I do see a bit you in her, and vice versa.

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  23. Alan, this is such a beautiful photo of your mother. Her little face looks
    earnest, but I think it was the unusual photo session. She had to work that out. She is secure, as she holds on to her parents knees and is also supported by her mothers arm, as one can see a little of her hand. The family picture is also very precious.
    In every child is something of its mother!

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