my 10 year old self

Friday, December 7, 2007

This is a photo of my 10 year old self that sits in a frame on my desk (along with framed photos of Emma, Ernst & Beatrice) and I look at her every day. Most days just in passing without much thought or focus. The idea to frame a photo of my childhood self came from the book Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Beginning with January the book has a short essay/project for each day of the year.

February 12th

Find a photograph of yourself when you were about 10. Make sure you’re smiling. Put it in a pretty frame and place it on your bedside table or desk and look at it every day. Send love to that young girl. Try to travel back in time and imagination. See yourself at ten: at home, at school, and at play.

I love this photo of myself. I love it for many reasons. I love that we obviously forgot that that day was school photo day and no one thought to doll me up for my picture. I remember clearly that I had just come in from playing soccer. The part in my hair's not straight, I have on my favourite hand knit red sweater over another favourite (Camp Falcon) t-shirt. I was a tom boy then. I loved life and I loved school and I had the best teacher in the whole world - Reg Porter who managed to make every subject absolutely fascinating. He's the teacher that read to us aloud My Family and Other Animals, hankie in hand laughing until tears rolled down his cheeks, who taught us Latin after school and who took us on mass to the quarry with nets made of old pantyhose to collect microscopic pond creatures in mason jars to bring back to our classroom and study, in little glass slides with wells so they stayed alive, under the microscope. I couldn't wait to get to school each day. Life seemed like one giant adventure. That year and that teacher had a huge influence on me and who I've become.

I'm amazed at the look of absolute serenity on my face in this photo, I see serenity with maybe even a dash of wisdom. No worries or concerns and not a hint of self consciousness. It's just the face of a carefree, blissfully happy 6th grader.


  1. I am having the BEST time reading through your blog!! I was going to comment when I finished, but when I was this darling sweet clear eyed picture of your 10 year old self, it brought tears to my eyes! I must find one of me, too and put it in a frame, like you said.

    Your photos of the snow, sky, trees, dogs and everything else are stunning. And your writing is a joy to read!

  2. i love that photo and your sentiments about it. That inner child is still there - inquisitive, eager and wide-eyed, but also at times shy and scared. How nice to be able to dip from that well and also to reassure her that you have her back.
    Your teacher sounds like a true mentor...lucky you! I love your work Susan and am so glad to have 'found' your blog again.


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