Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Young Eye

I've been reading my childhood journals, which I brought back to England from my mom's house in Florida. In the years since I wrote them I've forgotten so many events, so many people -- neighborhood kids, a boy at school who traded beer cans with me (I brought beer cans to school?!) and others. I filled the journals with drawings, stickers from bananas, wrappers from Easter candy -- you name it. They make for fun reading.

I was especially struck by this passage, from Sept. 23, 1978, when I was 11:
We are going to take pictures today. Sometime this afternoon, Dad says. Although I think the shadows would be better this morning, Dad's the boss! I want to be a photographer when I grow up, I think. I took some pictures a few weeks ago which Dad says are great. I took some of peaches, flowers, insects, spiders, plants and lichens. Shadows make things all the more interesting.
How about that? I was paying attention to shadows even then! The photos I took "a few weeks ago" included this one, which I took using my father's 35mm Minolta camera. I don't think I have any from Sept. 23, though, and I wonder whether we ever did take photos that day.

By that time I'd had my own camera for about four years. It was a crappy little Magimatic, nearly useless for any attempts at art, but I kept it until 1983 when I finally got my own Canon 35mm.

Maybe I was paying more attention because I'd taken photography at summer camp in 1978. In fact, I won an award!

(Photo: I don't have any old, old photos at hand, so here's another from Anna Maria Island -- an interesting wall on a house under renovation.)


  1. I find it amazing and interesting too when I look back on my writing from the past and realize that some of my thoughts were the same or developing way back then. I always think, "well, I must really like _____". So, the point is you must really like shadows. Isn't it wonderful to have that documented in the writings of your 11-year-old self.

  2. Don't you love how who we are is who we were? I love that some of your innermost desires have been realized. I have one of those Dr. Suess "All About Me" books that I filled out when I was ten years old. In it I said that I wanted to me a writer and a mother. It makes me happy and grateful, especially when things seem hard, that I am doing what I wanted when I was so young, unencumbered by care.

    I love your photos -- they have a depth to them that belies the simplicity of their subject.

  3. Camp Indian head RED ribbon award! What a cool little kid you were!

  4. You were a cool kid, listening to your creative impulses even then. I think your impulse toward photography is correct...I hope you explore that as a professional option since it suits you.

  5. Wow, that is great. If I read what my journals were, even in my early 20's I am nothing like I was then.

    Ms. M