The past is a fogged mirror

wonderful Heritage Day contribution by Tom Eaton to remind us that we may have more strands in our DNA, complex founding myths and reasons to be grateful.

Calling Through The Fog

Susanna family

Susanna sits, flanked by her grandchildren at the edge of the fading family portrait. Her face is vague, the imprecise chemistry of the photograph eroding her features into mere hints of a thin, tight mouth, of wary eyes.

But then you look away, back to the men. It is they who draw the eye in this picture, with their dark whiskers and theatrical, faintly melodramatic, poses: the picture was taken in the early 1920s, but the mood is Victorian. In this tableau, Susanna is easy to pass over; a woman just barely caught on film, slowly being rendered invisible by her age and by the vigour and beauty of the young people around her.

The photograph is a scene of carefully constructed domesticity but also of permanence.

Three generations sit together, their unity claiming not only the past but also the future. This family, the picture seems to declare, has…

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About Tales from a Small Country

I'm a project coordinator and features writer with a passion for the seventh art, a keen interest in culture and mobility, as well as social and environmental subjects. Half French, half German by origin possibly explains why I am drawn to divided countries and diverse societies: I called Cape Town in South Africa home for over a decade before coming to Beirut in early 2012. Besides people watching and cats, I also love Tripoli, Lebanon's second city.
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One Response to The past is a fogged mirror

  1. biddygreene says:

    My maternal grandfather (with a Welsh surname) grew up in Barbados. Not too long ago I realied that that meant I might have West African genes. That would be so exciting compared with all the other boring old English and Scottish (and Welsh, and possibly Irish) stuff. I must get tested when I’m in Jo’burg. xB.

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