Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Daffodils and memories

1940s lady - hand tinted photograph, originally uploaded by Trevira.  

This beautiful photograph is a hand tinted 8x10 dating from the 1940s, possibly during the Second World War.  A very stylish and attractive woman sits in a picturesque country setting, surrounded by daffodils.  She looks so happy. 

Its only when you turn it over that this photograph zaps you with something quite unexpected and moving.  On the back is written: "Looking at this now - I realise I was carrying my daughter - how I wish those times could have given me the courage to ignore the moral issues and let nature take its course." 

Suddenly its hard to look at that picture in quite the same way.  I imagine this woman was going through her photographs some years later and felt the need to record her regret at the loss of her daughter, perhaps for herself or for her family.  Or just to memorialise her child.  Her daughter was there in that photograph, only we couldn't know that by just looking at the picture, and neither did she at the time. 

I found this photograph among a whole boxful from the same family, and bought as many as I could afford.  Its clear that they later had a son whom they doted on, and enjoyed many happy times and holidays together as a family.  I would like to add some more pictures of the family here, or at least links to them, but trying to do both things resulted in me losing all the text I had written in a mass of tangled HTML.  So I daren't! 

Shuffling through the pictures you would assume this was a very happy family living a very uncomplicated and picture perfect life, but that little note is a sharp reminder that things aren't always that straightforward. 

2 comments:

fuzzylizzie said...

"but that little note is a sharp reminder that things aren't always that straightforward."

So true! It's rare to get that sort of an insight from the back of a photo.

Sarah said...

Yes indeed, fuzzylizzie. Its rare to get any inscriptions on the back of photos, let alone something so personal and heart-rending.

It really touches me.