Tuesday, February 28, 2017

photos from a past I don't remember....

When my Aunt Elsie died last year (I once had two Aunt Elsie's--this one, my mother's baby sister  and the other was married to my mother's older brother--go figure) Gayle Keller, one of my first cousins, sent all the cousins some of Elsie's photos. She must have had a ton since I got a stack 4 inches high of mostly black and white photos and mostly of my parents and me or just me.

When I was a baby. people always posed me 'on something'.

There's a picture of me sitting, rather uncomfortably, on the front wheel cover of what looks like a 1940 De Soto. Then I'm sitting on a spinning wheel. Then I'm on the top of a pole and I can see my father's arms holding me up there. Then I'm sitting on a chair on the back porch of the apartment I grew up in which was about 30 feet off the ground and terrified me for much of my early life. Acrophobia is with me still. (Once at a General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim, California, I was given a room on the 12th floor of the hotel and never once, in two weeks, went out on the balcony off my bedroom though the railings were probably 4 1/2 feet high!). Never mind that my older male cousins would climb outside the railings of that apartments' porch just to make me insane....

Pictures of me as a baby and toddler in front of my paternal grandparents' house in Waiteville (Monroe County) WV and in my maternal grandparents' yard in Conkintown (McDowell County) WV. And pictures of me in the yard beside our apartment in Anawalt. (I'm not making these place names up and spell check has rejected them all!)

In a lot of the photos--like all the ones I've mentioned and one with me at probably 18 months (walking and dressed for cold weather) feeding chickens--I look distressed if not downright terrified.

I guess there is a psychological healing in not 'remembering' your earliest life since much of it was probably not pleasant--not because anyone consciously made it that way, but because growing up is like that. Not very pleasant. Distressing if not terrifying.

Being a 'little person' isn't the story book version...unless, of course, the book is by the Brothers Grimm....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.