Black and White Experience

Dad's Shoes

I pounced on the photograph.

“Who is this?” I asked. “Is this you?”

She nodded and smiled.

“This was taken when I was about three years old. It’s my favorite picture of myself.”

“This? Your favorite? Come on! I’ve seen much better pictures of you than this one. It’s so blurry and grainy it makes it hard to see what you are doing.”

“Well, look. I’m sitting on a cement slab wearing a pair of men’s shoes. They were my dad’s shoes.”

“I still don’t see what’s so special about an old black and white photo.”

“That, my dear, is what makes it so special. It’s black and white photo taken at a time when all photos were black and white. People your age will never know what it is like to have their picture taken in black and white.”

“Does it make a difference,” I asked, “having your picture taken with black and white film?”

“Oh, yes,” she said. “All the difference in the world—that is to say, a black and white world. You see, in this picture I was telling myself a story about my dad’s shoes. It was my first venture into the world of eternal color. That’s what a story is, my dear. It’s a moment of Life, captured in the mind’s eye. Every time I see this old picture, I remember the story. The black-and-whiteness of the photo emphasizes its contrast to the colorful world within.”

For some reason, I felt defensive.

“I can do that,” I said. “I can look at pictures of myself—color photos—and remember what I was thinking at the time. I, too, can remember my stories.”

“That’s true,” she said.

“Well, anyway, it’s an interesting old photo.”

“Thank you,” she said.

I said goodbye and left, feeling that I was missing something.

Daily Prompt: Grainy

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2 thoughts on “Black and White Experience

  1. A couple of years ago, I went through a stage where remembering things was really difficult. From then on I started to participate in creating more traditions and breaking homogeneous circumstances in order to help me create memories. It’s amazing how important they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very true. I am interested in learning more about how you created more traditions and broke homogeneous circumstances (Someone I am close to is having a difficult time remembering things.) If you wrote about it on your blog, would you mind sending me the link? Thanks.

    Like

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