On my desk is a picture of my mother. 26 years old. She’s in a bed and the sheets are white, the pillows white, she is wearing white. The image is faded badly and it looks almost like a small oval photo of nothing, save for her dark brown hair, that falls flatly on either side of her also-oval face.
The half and forced smile bears the pressure of a different time and cannot hide some desire to escape. To be somewhere different. Doing something different. Than this. And who knows, maybe the camera caught something on the way to some bigger smile or deeper joy, but it‘s a longshot.
The metal frame is clumsily ornate with small nubs of hastily construed filigree and there is a kind of old and ancient beauty to it all, a timeless and difficult love.
Much of life would fall apart after this photo was taken, she would have felt that coming and that uncertainty must have traveled through the bloodstream to the unborn child that takes up the bottom half of the photo. He would struggle, life long, to fill up more than that. To gain any more than half a place, half a smile, without the worry of being burdensome. Unwanted. Hidden from view, almost nothing, head down and in a permanent state of falling.
Josh S. Rose is a photographer, artist and writer. Photography works can be seen here.