Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Aileen's Knees

That's how far I've gotten on the weaving:

What's odd about this picture is that until shortly after Aileen died in 2008, I had never seen it. Since Mother was a photographer, my sister and I grew up with a camera in our faces on the least provocation, and my perception was that Mother was absolutely anal about keeping photos. But none of these were in my own album (which goes back to when I was about 1 week old). Not only that, I don't remember the occasion. A real mystery! Perhaps it was Aileen's camera, not Mother's?

My cousin Marie, who was Aileen's executor, went through all Aileen's photo albums (she had 23, one for each cousin) and sent each one of us the album we were in. Since Aileen never married, we cousins were all "her kids" and she treasured every photo, every newspaper clipping, you name it, if it was about one of "her kids" she kept it in the appropriate album.

There were 4 tiny photos in this group. In 2 of them, it was my mother who was seated between Barbara and me. I'm guessing that Aunt Aileen took those. In both of them, Barbara had sour looks and/or totally negative body language - she and Mother butted heads from the moment Barbara left the womb - so I ruled those out as weavings.

Of the remaining 2 photos, apparently snapped by my mother, Aileen had a goofy look in one, and Barbara and I were acting up in the other, so the aforementioned Photoshop surgery was necessary. While I was swapping heads from one scan to another, I also removed a tree that was growing out of Aileen's head... I love the way all 3 of us were sitting with crossed legs - I have no idea whether that was staged, or just spontaneous imitative behavior on our part. But we were clearly having a grand time playing flower princesses!


Anonymous said...

What a treasure this piece will be. Aileen reminds me of Esther, an old family friend who passed away last year. She babysat for me when I was an infant (I'm 64 now). Like Aileen she never had children but kept up with nieces, nephews, and family friends. Her camera was always at the ready, also.

neki desu said...

great story.
we've gotten so used to photoshop "reality" that real natural photos look unreal. akin to the plastic flower syndrome.

Benita said...

I think you did a lovely job Photoshopping and this piece will be a real heirloom to pass down - a moment in time forever woven into memory. Neat!