Writing Prompts from Other People's Memories

May 24, 2018

I get pumped when I come across a bin of old photos in an antique shop or a thrift store. It's bittersweet, holding a photo that will never make its way back to a loved one, and I don't take it for granted. I thumb through each one carefully, letting my mind get filled to the brim with stories that I never would have dreamed up without the snapshot. I don't know why certain photos catch my eye, but they're the ones with a particular expression, setting, or posture that leaves me aching to know everything that led these people to the click. Unable to access the true pressures, privileges, and experiences that made up these lives, I imagine a few of my favorite photos below...






... a child with a hesitant adoration for his grandpa's poodle, Mitzi, and the heartbreak he'll  

    experience moments later when he tries to make a connection with that fluffy beauty, and instead 

    receives four stitches and a scolding.



... a good old-fashioned water baptism which, let's face it, is really just a glorified pool party to anyone 

    under the age of twelve.



... working women after-hours, coping with the era's gift to them-- holding every damn thing 

    together in their personal and professional lives. I see you, Barb.



... the final, surreal moments before a soldier's deployment. His strength of body and mind makes the 

    goodbye all the more difficult for his wife, who shares the quiet fear in the grip of his hand.



... 80s skateboarding culture, and the thrill of a young person studying and practicing and devoting

    himself completely to his passions.




What do you see?



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