Friday, 15 April 2011

mirror gaze

she is looking back at me. and so many of these photos could be a mirror. not just the hair, the eyes and the face but her expressions, the way she holds her head and hunches up her legs. how...

the last time i actually saw her was the evening of december 1 1992, a few hours before she died. her death was the first meaningful one. its announcements throughout the year before imprinted in memory.

there are many photos - four albums filled with her, her friends, and travels. they are stored now next to the bed that is mine when i visit and i went to look at them in winter. my mother (a bit unsurprising) was far less surprised: yes, we always knew how much you looked like her.

it is a strange knowledge - that image one holds of oneself, so close and yet so strange. and how much time needs to pass to be able to apply some distance between what i see and what i think i know.

my granny anni was born in 1915. which makes her 21 to 27 on the photos in those  albums. it makes her too old to have merely been a girl in the nazi girls' organisation, the league of german girls (bdm).

i always knew how much she loved her youth, her friends who remained with her all her life, the travels. these albums speak of it. there exist photos of myself in nazi uniform, taken between 1936 and 1942.

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