Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.
The prompt picture this week pays tribute to the human face. And, indeed, this face invites you to spend time studying her features; looking into her eyes; wondering about her thoughts. There is nothing to distract us from her face – not even the style of her hair.
When I was trying to come up with ideas for this week’s Sepia Saturday theme, I thought about a few photographs I have with missing faces – faces that should be there, but have been forcibly removed. Faces we will not spend time contemplating.
Also this past week, Carole King became the first woman ever to win the Gerswhin Prize for Popular Song, an award given annually by the Library of Congress. Her 1971 album, Tapestry, was the background music to my late teen/early adult years. I played it over and over again, always from beginning to end.
I find that some days I still need a dose of Tapestry because there is a song there that speaks to the need of the day. Some days I need “Far Away.” Some days I need to hear that “You’ve Got a Friend.” Some days I need to find shelter “Way Over Yonder.”
And some days I really need to hear “Beautiful” – either because I don’t feel particularly beautiful or because I don’t feel like facing the day ahead. Carole encourages me with each refrain that the day will be better if I face it with a smile:
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes, you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel.
As I listened to the Tapestry album this week, it crossed my mind that the women who cut themselves out of my photographs could have used a dose of advice from Carole. And what about those stern looking matriarchs of the family? Surely they weren’t as mean as they look in the photographs I have of them.
If only they had had Carole King’s encouragement singing within ….. Smile. Show the love in your heart. Or maybe treat yourself a little better and don’t cut yourself out of the picture. You probably don’t look as bad as you think you do.
My husband’s grandmother, Lena Morales, cut herself out of photographs on several occasions. Sometimes with just a raggedy tear.
My grandmother Abbie replaced her face (and my cousin’s) with a big heart.
I wanted to remove myself from the photo below. I arrived at school, hair unwashed and pulled back in a headband as a last resort, only to learn that it was picture day.
You can make me get my picture taken, but you can’t make me smile.
If only “Beautiful” had been written in time to help me and my “greats” realize that a smile can be the secret to beauty – or at least to a better photograph.
Susan Nancy Hendrickson Strange
Celia Jenkins Harris
“I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.” – Audrey Hepburn
You will find many faces to contemplate at Sepia Saturday today. Go take a look.
P. S. if you read my Sepia Saturday post last week, you might recognize some of the faces from the class portrait – now two years older. Another post I could have prepared for today’s prompt!