It is such a wonder to me that even photos from our past that have almost no visual context (like a school portrait) can bring back so many connected memories. In this horrible, wonderful photo of me from second grade I notice:
- The sweet sweater vest my mom knit for me
- My jack-o-lantern smile
- The very precise way my hands have been arranged
- That awful haircut (I mean, really?)
- My Charlie the Tuna pin
The details that aren’t in this photo but that come flooding back to me just by looking at it are:
- The way my classroom at Immaculate Conception School looked
- My homeroom teacher, Mrs. Strittmatter
- Being escorted up the hill to school every morning by the next-door neighbors’ dog, Barney
- Watching in fascination as Mike Batiste, who sat in front of me, turned his paper upside-down to write his notes left-handed
- How much I loved my shoes for that year, which were tan and navy tie ups with a turtle embossed on the side
Some photos might not tell you a lot about themselves at the outset. I have found that sometimes just sitting with a photo like this one and casting yourself mentally back to that time—to the feelings of that time—can work a little memory magic.
Now for a little note about the design of this page (because I’m not sure if it’s obvious in the photo above). I wanted to imitate the skirt of my school uniform—a blue, gray, white and black jumper—so I pleated blue checked paper across the bottom section.