John S.

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family / life / love / photography / Song / stories

John S

They say everyone who looks into their family history will find a secret sooner or later. So when Zooey started looking through the old family albums in the chest she found in her grandmother’s attic she intuitively felt she would find something. Some clue that an ancestor had carefully hidden away decades ago, hoping that skeleton would be taken to the grave with its last witness, forever silenced as if it had never happened. Zooey scanned the faces in the pictures carefully, sometimes recognizing the nose and heavy-set brow that dominated many of the faces in her family. On the back of most photographs her grandmother had neatly written the names of the dead mortals that peopled the images. Their attire old-fashioned, the men mustachioed, the women wearing little frilly hats; their stern looking faces looking unblinking into the camera. Zooey wondered if they had ever smiled and enjoyed life; savored the taste of a juicy peach or the scent of fresh-cut flowers. Everyone of them looked eternally forlorn, captured in their claustrophobic black and white world. Somewhat in a trance she flicked through the pile, but suddenly she stopped: It startled her; the man seemed completely alive, his bright eyes spoke to her, a long distance phone call through time itself. The photograph showed a man in mountaineering gear, posing proudly on top of a white-capped mountain, the sun was about to set, creating stark shadows contrasted by the white snow, yet his face was illuminated. The man looked at the one taking the picture with such gusto, Zooey instantly realized this was the secret she had been looking for. On the back it simple said “John S. 1932”, sadly not much of information to go on, but obviously John S. was the man her grandmother had been hiding deep inside the folds of her stifled heart more than half her life, making her distant and sour. How sad.

Song for today: Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep Mountain High

The Author

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”  Miss Piggy

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