I was four when my Father took this photograph.
I loved the camera.
The brown leather case and the little window you could see the world through were magic instruments to me.
It is true that photographs can capture your soul, because this one did capture mine.
There was a time in my life when I needed to find my self.
I sensed I was missing.
As a teen I looked for myself in music.
One day I blasted the Who and then came slamming out of the house.
My mother, forever the diplomat, and with a musical ear, smiled and said;
“What great drumming!”
She really did know more than I did back then.
I just liked their energy and did not realize what a crazy force of nature and talent that drummer possessed.
Then there was a very busy decade for me during my 30’s to 40’s.
I lost myself again.
It was easy to do in the rush to remain in place.
One day I looked through a box of old photographs to appease my chronic homesick blues.
I found this picture and realized I had a key to myself.
My friend Maya, on the left, elegant and serene, with the early willows of spring was my constant companion back then.
And there I was, slightly rumpled and grinning a crazy large grin.
I was smiling at my Father, at the joy of being four, in the woods of Poland.
Before we left for Poland I consulted maps.
“What are you doing?” my family asked.
I was charting a course for my invisible friends so they could travel with us.
I had 3 invisible friends; King Sunny, Yonni Coffee and Oatmeal.
I drew diagrams for them, complex scribbles, and they did make the journey.
They lingered for a while and then moved on when a bear named Meishe entered my life.
My younger self smiled out at my older self, who is now a younger self to myself of today.
My younger self, with her soul and spirit intact is fearless and full of joy.
She radiates the words of wisdom my Father often gave me through my college years:
“Don’t let the bastards get you down!”