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Pictures of You
“I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you / That I almost believe that they’re real”
My uncle passed away recently after a long illness. Amidst the tears and laughter and memories during his calling hours, there was the obligatory photo collage in the corner. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It was a collection of photographs that traced his life from youth, to middle age, to a handful of years ago. It’s impossible to condense a rich life into a collection of photographs taped to a 36” x 48” trifold project board. But it was still well done.
In it, I could see his history. I could see him change throughout the years. His hair changed from brown to white. He donned glasses. His facial features changed. There were pictures from his wedding day. But there were plenty of everyday pictures.
I latched on to one particular picture. It was one of my dad and uncle from 1994. In that picture, they are roughly the same age that I am currently.
I could also see my own history in that photo collage. There were pictures that included previous versions of me. I plumbed the depths of my memory to try and remember the context behind one family photograph I was in. I couldn’t come up with a specific memory. But I knew the place. I knew the people. I could hear their voices. I could feel the touch of long gone family members. I could smell the air.
It almost knocked me over.
Time marches on. It is ceaseless and relentless. You can watch the clock move. You can go out on summer evenings and stare at the moon as it moves through the night sky. We mark the passage of time in our own way. And with it, we mark change in our lives.
The Cure — “Pictures of You”
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