The Baby in The Mirror

Who is the baby in the mirror?

Mirrors are interesting; both real ones and metaphorical ones. As babies and toddlers we seek out mirrors to see our own reflection; fascinated by the baby in the mirror who smiles back at us.

But as we grow older, past middle age, we come to avoid mirrors. lest we be reminded of our own aging and decline, as well as our approaching mortality.

Amie

I can see why you think you belong to me
I never tried to make you think, or let you see one thing for yourself
But now your off with someone else and I’m alone
You see I thought that I might keep you for my own

Amie what you want to do?
I think I could stay with you
For a while, maybe longer if I do

Don’t you think the time is right for us to find
All the things we thought weren’t proper could be right in time
And can you see
Which way we should turn together or alone
I can never see what’s right or what is wrong
(will it take to long to see)Amie what you want to do?
I think I could stay with you
For a while, maybe longer if I do

Well now
Amie what you want to do?
I think I could stay with you
For a while, maybe longer if I do

Now it’s come to what you want you’ve had your way
And all the things you thought before just faded into gray
And can you see
That I don’t know if it’s you or if it’s me
If it’s one of us I’m sure we’ll both will see
Won’t you look at me and tell me

Amie what you want to do?
I think I could stay with you
For a while, maybe longer
Longer if I do

Yeah now
Amie what you want to do?
I think I could stay with you
For a while, maybe longer if I do

Fallin’ in and out of love with you
Fallin’ in and out of love with you
Don’t know what I’m gonna do, I’d keep
Fallin’ in and out of love
With you

Pure Prairie League

Bustin’ Out, 1972

Black Flame

I am words, I am speaking
I never heard my conclusion
Lost the way in my confusion, in illusion
Lost inside the picture frame

I’m not to blame, I didn’t see the black flame
I’m not ashamed, its poetry, the black flame
I’m rearranged, it’s changing me, the black flame
Burns my blackened brain

I am strong, I am leaving
I never knew I’d feel the need so
Where to go, I’ll turn the flow, I could not know
Screams inside the burning pain

It’s spinning head, it’s under hand – the black flame
It lies instead, I turned and I ran – the black flame
On me, it fed,I understand – the black flame
Burns my blackened brain

Run from me, don’t you see
That we are one and I’m a part of you
Get away, any way
I’m still a secret in the heart of you
And I’m the burning in your soul

Now I’m weak, I am losing
I never thought I’d stop trying
I’m a lie, I’m just a sigh, just a crying
Just a symbol of the game

Suspended pain, I can not face the black flame
Intended fear, I can not trace the black flame
Extended reaching into space–the black flame
Burns my blackened brain

Renaissance

Turn of The Cards, 1974

Diapers, 1934

I came across these two pictures in a lot of vintage baby photos I had bought at an auction. These photos, like most of the photos on my blog are a “window in time” that allows us to peer into the past.

Of course I was born in the 1950s so many of these things aver very familiar to me; cloth diapers, rubber baby pants, the use of baby powder, etc. But still, they are a visual reminder of who we used to be and what America was like in our not-so distant past.

Gilbert, July 24, 1934

All I know about this baby is that his name was Gilbert, and he was 6 months-old in this photo taken in 1934. Note how thick his cloth diapers are. This was before waterproof rubber baby pants came into wide use. And this was during the midst of the Great Depression. If Gilbert is alive today, he would be 88 years old.

All Those Diapers for Baby Gilbert!

This is something you don’t see every day in 2021: Lots and lots of cloth diapers. When I was a kid, this is what my mom diapered babies with. From the early 1900s to the 1970s, it was cloth diapers, safety pins (diaper pins) and rubber baby pants.

Playing Soldier, 1955

it is perhaps a vivid testimony to the innocence of childhood that little boys love to dress up and play soldier as if they were in the army fighting in a war. Of course they have no idea what war really is: it’s horror, it’s stench of death and blood. Thank God this adult knowledge is beyond the compression of most American children.

I Was a “Little Soldier”

March, 1955, a little boy plays soldier.

Like most little boys in the 1950s and 1960s, I too, played solidier and army with my brothers and other children. Our backyard in Phoenix, Arizona was a vast foregine battlefield where we imigined and fantasized about winning great battles and being bathed in glory and honor for our patriotic victories.

Most of our pretend playtime came from what we saw on TV and films.

Of course these 1950s TV shows and films about war were highly sanitized and “Dysneyfied” versions of war written, acted, and filmed by Hollywood.

Combat!

Combat! was a 1960s TV show that aired from 1962 to 1967 when I was a little boy.

Yes, the TV show Combat! made a big impression on me, as it did other American children of that era.

Summer 1951

I’m not sure where this 1951 photograph was taken.

It could be Tennessee, Oklahoma, or Nebraska.

I wonder about what kind of life these children had. Were their lives rich and full, or broken and full of regrets? Of course there is no way to ever know, but I hope and pray that they had good lives.

Did They Find Love?

I wonder. Love is the most powerful, deeply redeeming emotion in the human condition. Without being loved, and loving someone in return, life is but a meaningless parade of empty experiences and material aqasistions.

In the 2002 film “The Village” the William Hurt character says,

“She’s motivated by love. The world moves for love. It falls on it’s knees before it in awe.”

The Summer of 1951

Who Are We?

It’s an interesting question. Contemplative. Introspective. Existential. Prayerful. Meditative.

Baby Marilyn and Baby Gregory

This photo was taken on August 26, 1951 when these babies were but a few weeks old.

Yes, they would both be 70 years old this week: their beautiful mothers seen in this photo would either be languishing in a nursing home, a hospital or resting in the ground having already passed from this life.

Mortality is Sobering

Sobering; is it not? Take a good look at these two beautiful young moms in August of 1951. They are so pretty, so full of life and hope for the future. Their eyes and expressions beam warm, motherly smiles of young moms with their newborn babies safe and healthy, ready to begin their lives under their love and guidance. And now, today, they are dust; having passed from this brief life.

Who Are We?

We are leaves and grass.

The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103: 15-18

Take Another Look: Leaves and Grass

Where is My Grandma?

It’s not easy to write about loss. Many in our world say, “Well, we all pass away. Nothing is permeant and no one lasts forever.”

Yeah, I get that. But I have never dealt with loss and pain very well. I’m sorry, but I do want everything and everyone to stay the same.

In many ways that what this blog is all about.

It is a memorial to a world that no longer exists. It is a remembrance of a world, a people, and a nation, who no longer exist.

I Miss My Grandma

It was 6 years ago when my Grandma passed from this Earth. She was in her 90s.

Yes, we all wear out. Yes, everything decays and passes away.

But what are we left with? Memories of moments that are now lost to time? Old black and white photographs that attest to a people and a nation that no longer exists?

Perhaps I am selfish for wanting everyone and everything to last forever. Perhaps I am “infantile” for not accepting “reality” and accepting grief and loss. Perhaps.

But there is a reason Hollywood, Disney, and the “entertainment industry” is a trillion dollar enterprise. Most people find nothing but cold, sterile “comfort” in coming to terms with their own mortality and the mortality of their loved ones. I am one of those people.

Grandmas Are Special

A Beloved Mother

I am an archivist, specializing in preserving the photos and memories of a bygone era and the people who lived in those times (which is also my time because I was born in the 1950s).

Recently, I bought a collection of 1940s and 1950s from someone who had bought them during an estate sale. One was a gravesite gathering of family members in Los Angles, CA in the summer of 1958, about 6 months after their mother had passed away at the age of 72.

Della May McEvers, 1885-1957

She was born Della May Critchfield in Idaho on November 7, 1885. Della May Critchfield was married in 1903 to Charles Ruben McEvers who proceeded her in death by 3 months. And they had nine children together during 54 years of marriage.

Yes, their marriage lasted 54 years and produced 9 children. No divorce. No broken marriage. No children growing up without their father. A healthy, wholesome family and marriage that lasted until “death do us part.”

She had nine, yes, nine (9) children: 4 boys and 5 girls. Sadly, all of these children are now gone, like their parents before them.

The last of her children died in 2002.

Where Did We Go Wrong?

It is clear, looking at these photos, researching the life of this large family, that something very terrible and destructive has happened to us. What happened? What went wrong in America?

Where did we take a wrong turn and get hopelessly lost in this menacing Forrest of postmodernism and immorality? Can we “fix” this? Can we ever return to a time like this?

Remember the orgy of hate and violence in the summer of 2020? Remember our cemeteries and graves being desecrated in the name of “social justice?” Ask yourself this question: Is it possible, with the population we now have, an immoral, debauched, violent people, to ever return to the days of the 1950s? Is is possible today to have intact, healthy families like this one you see here?

A Beloved Mother

In a jaded, debauched society full of lies and deceit, we often scoff at words on a plaque that say something like, “Beloved Mother.”

But in fact Della May was a beloved mother. Plaques, gravestones, memorials, and photographs are there to help us remember those who are no longer here. Let us never forget our mothers.

The Beginning, of The End

Today is August 1st, a rather somber day in Minnesota, because for all intents and pourposes, it is the beginning of the end of Summer.

Yes, it’s still Summer and its still warm (reltively speaking for Minnesota) but on Auguest 1st we become keenly aware that 2/3 of Summer are gone, and we are that much closer to the harsh cold wind of Winter.