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'Say Cheese!'

When we are young, we say ‘cheese’ and smile. Who the heck made that up? I guess it works? It’s been in practice for years. Birthday parties, school recitals and tennis matches. We have it all. My father was the family photographer in our household. He was the only one that could touch the camera. That was ok, though, because he knew and knows everything. He is the expert. Back then, while I was excited to look at photographs, as I engaged in staring competitions with them, I can’t say I was aware of how fascinated I actually was or could be. All I knew was that I liked looking at photos. I engaged in my fascination just by looking and wanting to see more. That was all my young brain allowed me to develop in the way of fascination. I just didn’t know that later it would develop into something more. It’s easy to objectify things when you’re a child. Looking at a picture of yourself as an infant or a toddler when you are approximately 5 yrs old is a confusing experience. But not the kind of frustrating convoluted confusion we experience as adults. It was a curious unadulterated sense of confusion; ‘I stand here, right now, I am 5, looking at an image of myself when I was around 1’. I am real right now. That image is real right now, and I was real right then. This is all happening right now from something that happened then’. See!? Confused! There is no solution nor explanation, but it is something that was accepted and celebrated through the young eyes of curiosity and wonder.

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