Old photos give new life


Several years ago, I was in an antique book shop. There was a pile of vintage pictures for sale, group shots of people that were once full of life, now left nameless on a rack.  Looking closer I took in the clothes, the details of expression and then out came the wallet.

It might have seemed silly to spend several dollars each on pictures of strangers. As a writer, they are strangers no more. They will be given new life in my words. The details might be lost, but their faces tell so much. Who were these people? Who will they become now on the pages I write? Time will tell…


About christasterken

Committed to a life of purpose. Learning to live abundantly. Embracing creativity. Questioning. Delighting in the comforts of home and family. Determining not to settle only for how things are, but how they could be. Writing is part of who I am, so I trust In God who gave the gift to show me how I can serve Him through it. That is my life…one word at a time. Psalm 89:11a“Teach me your way , O Lord, and I will walk in your truth”

5 responses »

  1. I’ll join the club on this thought. I, too, own framed photos of men and women I don’t know, not even their names. Having writing my WW II novel, I decided to decorate our guest room in 1940s furniture and memorabilia. So antique malls have supplied the young blond Air Corps captain posing with his girl (or wife?). Other soldiers and sailors also adorn those four walls. Perhaps they have no children who wanted these pictures. Whether that is so or not, I’m sure all the people featured in those photos would have been surprised if, when the shots were taken, someone had predicted that some day some guy they would never know in Indianapolis would appreciate and value those images, which are now on display for all guests in our home to enjoy.

  2. Sorry this is longer than I intended; I should have just emailed it to you!
    Last summer I was on my way home from a weekend retreat and came upon an auction being held at a rural home. I decided to stop and see what was being offered. All the things that had made that house a home for generations were displayed on tables for all the world to see. Things that I knew were gifts from children of all ages to their parents (where were they now?), and I discovered the thing that moved me the most was a large photo of a woman apparently in the early 1900s. She appeared to be a simple woman, and I imagined the children she had raised in that house, the meals cooked perhaps on a woodburning stove; I was sure many of the household items on display had once been hers, used in the everyday business of keeping house, cooking and raising children, and I was moved nearly to tears to think that nobody wanted or needed any of these things any more. I very nearly bought that picture just to protect her memory! Pretty silly, since I had no memories of her to protect!
    I hope someone else was moved as I was, and purchased the picture to hang on their wall, as you and Rick have done…I wish I had.

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