Two Faces

Two Faces
Two Faces

Two Faces

 

Two faces I love.  One was born a simian baby with a Mr. Magoo face.  She grew into a beautiful child and and into an even more beautiful woman.  The other came to me by happy chance. The girl inherited her father’s freckles although you’d never notice in real life.  She is the mother of The-Boy-Who-Grew-Too-Tall.  The other has an oddly matching freckle.  Freckles are not the only characteristics these two share.  They have a hesitancy towards people.  Not a real dislike, but a wary eye.  Both are gentle and brave souls.

They share memories of difficult childhoods. The little girl was mostly left to her own devices as a resourceful, intelligent, creative,and totally responsible child.  For a long time, she believed her father left on Mondays for the airport where he lived and worked until Fridays or Saturdays.  She was little then and little people need explanations.  She worked out other things by herself.  Like how to stand on a stool to make her peanut butter sandwich for breakfast before she woke her mother.  She was the beautiful latch-key child of a self-absorbed social worker who passed for Mother.

The other was shipped to this country from France when she was three months old.  She wears a Nazi-like tattoo inside the leather of her left ear.  She is number 2GAZ319.   The French tattoo their thoroughbred dogs.  She was sent away from her mother, her family, her country when she was only a baby.  She was shy.  She froze in the show ring.  She did not produce the new line her breeder required of her.  She failed.

By the Grace of God or by pure chance, these dearest of faces inhabit my world.  Each takes care of me in her own way.  I am blessed among women.

50 Comments on “Two Faces

  1. Delightful and touching. Trying to make me misty eyed again. You have a wonderful way with B&W portraits that catches my attention. And you included one eye , just to throw me off. 😀

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    • Ha! I KNEW you’d get that one large, eyeball… She looks like a frightened deer in the headlights, but she isn’t. Her eyes are just large and rather prominent. The macro lens slightly distorted her face shape. She is a sweetheart. He mom is indispensable.
      I love other people’s b&w photographs. I especially love the street photography. I just like color. It is difficult for me to choose b&w. Thanks for the reinforcement. I often doubt my black and white.

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  2. I won a prize in France for a poem called “Deux Amis”. It describes two friends who resemble each other. Towards the end, the poem reveals that one of them is a dog. I tried to translate it into English, but it doesn’t work well, which is a pity. I wrote it for a young man who wanted me to write something about himself and his dog. He kept coming to see me when I was working as a Guide to the local mediaeval castle, demanding that I write about them. So I eventually spent my Monday off, writing his poem. The prize-winning version was a bit shorter because it had to be limited to twenty lines for the competition. Apart from the prestige of winning, the prize was a lovely painting by Dominique Guedon, which she did especially for the competition. I was delighted because I couldn’t have afforded to buy one.

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    • What a wonderful experience. I do wish you could translate it for us! Wouldn’t it work just a little? I am smiling because I think it was so clever of you to reveal the dog only at the end. Winning the painting was a fantastic prize! You must write a post about your life if you haven’t already done so. I know that would be interesting. Something about you or your blog reminds me of Susan Vreeland’s book, “Clara and Mr. Tiffany: A Novel”. I am wrong probably, but I get that sense about you.

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      • It’s not good at all in English. What I could do is scan the Municipal Bulletin in which it appeared after I won the prize, as well as the newspaper article in which there is a bit about it, and post those (to prove that it really was good in French) then accompany them with the translation, and perhaps the story of how it came to be written, which is a little bit longer than above because he wanted me to paint them originally. I did a calligraphy of their names because I was selling a few at the time, but he refused to believe that I couldn’t do a recognizable portrait of them. When I told him that I painted better with words, he just kept insisting until I did the poem. And what with one thing and another, I’m very glad that he did.

        I don’t think that I could fit my (rather long) life into just one post. I have published a few bits here and there on my site. A post called “Ancient Times?” comes to mind. However, I’m not sure that my life would be interesting to very many people.

        I am about to display my ignorance again: I have heard of Susan Vreeland, I think, but don’t know the book that you mentioned. So am unable to comment on your remark. I am sure that I am turning into a snarling old woman and probably shouldn’t write any personal stuff. I’m bound to upset someone.

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  3. Very interesting portrait, woven from both the image and the background. I don’t believe that childhood adversity alone, could be a great help in the young leading successful adult lives. Though maybe it’s better than getting spoiled by too much pampering. We do learn a lot from the adults that surround us as children (not necessarily the parents). I am so glad for you that you are happy with your daughter. I think it is often the children who browbeat their parents, and not the mothers who browbeat themselves for their failures. This post was fascinating, George.

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    • Kelli was pampered. She still is. I just did not pay a lot of attention unless she appeared to be in distress. I simply thought she was the most delightful child in the world. She is not a complainer so it was hard to know when she was upset. Her father was the same way. Kelli certainly was not abused or neglected in any physical sense. I’m sure she thinks I should have paid more attention. Perhaps, she’s right. Now, she is the best mother I ever knew.

      She is a very bright, talented woman and a thoroughly decent one. She operates our business along with her husband. We started a concrete manufacturing business in 1979. She does all of the design work for installations and sells them. Her husband runs production and installations and everything else.
      I no longer go to my office, but I am going out there to take some photographs of the equipment and the longhorn cattle. The longhorns were Dean’s hobby. One, Jerry, would have gotten into the golf cart with Dean if he had fit. He drank Dean’s tea from the big cup Dean always carried around.
      I suppose I will do a post on the business history one day. That was an interesting thirty years!
      I’m glad you liked this post. I always think of you when I’m writing one. I wonder what you will think of it. 😉

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  4. As the mother of an amazing young woman who is also a fantastically stubborn teenager; your post reminds me that it is both our strengths and our flaws that make us beautiful human beings.

    elisa

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    • That is true, Elisa. That fantastically stubborn teenager will morph into a very independent young woman with an opinion. Now, you can’t ask for more than that! Just hold on; it will happen. The butterfly will emerge! I promise. 😉

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      • Ha! Thanks, I’m just holding on…it’s been a wild ride!

        But I agree with you and feel a sense of relief that her strength will carry her forward in this difficult world.

        Can you tell I’ve had a bad day….

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        • No. I’d have said that on a grand day when Kelli was fifteen. Actually, you should hear her story about her “Mommy Dearest” mother. I swear I did not whack her with that coat hanger….. 😉

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    • Pablo, why did you get an email with that photo in it? Does WP send out photo emails?

      Anyway, I’m so happy that a real photographer likes it! Woo Hoo I arrived at something you like. I know…I know…you like natural photographs. I do too, but I’m no good at it. I have a familial tremor in my right hand. (That’s the excuse I use…)
      I’m happy that you liked the story too. Thank you.

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  5. Cannot begin to describe how much I love this picture… A pack of two. And then I read your words? And loved it more…

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    • Glad you liked the photograph. I liked it too. I was playing with my 85mm macro lens. Yes, I do love my babies!

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  6. George, you are such a fine writer! I found you through your photographs, but your stories keep me fed. Thank you so much for sharing them.

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    • Thank you, Naomi. I tell folksy stories, but that’s who I am. I talk pretty much that way too. I am happy that you enjoy them!

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    • Thank you, Erica. I am truly blessed to have such a beautiful, talented and thoroughly decent daughter!

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  7. What a great tribute! Daughters are wonderful when they grow up and still love us despite of our imperfections. Then they understand when they become mothers.

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    • Yes. My daughter is the best mother I know and a thoroughly decent human being besides. Boy tells me all the time that his is the best mom ever! I believe she is.

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  8. What a beautiful tribute to your girls! “The little girl was mostly left to her own devices as a resourceful, intelligent, creative,and totally responsible child.” – Sounds hauntingly familiar to my own oldest daughter’s childhood. She too has grown into the most amazing woman, in spite of all my shortcomings as a “self-absorbed” working mother. You’ve inspired me today, George. Thank you!

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    • They flower in spite of us, don’t they? I read something a long time ago about childhood adversity preparing us to lead decisive and successful adult lives. I suppose we need some measure of independence (neglect?) in order to develop our own potential. I don’t know. I know my own daughter is a competent, successful woman. Mothers are inclined to browbeat themselves for their failures. Adults are inclined to blame mothers for their own. We do the best we think we can at the time. None of us is perfect, Lori. I am proud of my daughter and grateful to her and for her. Life just works out, I suppose.

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  9. Simian? I am rolling at that reference. I am sure my children will resemble all kinds of non-human creatures 🙂 Such a cool post as always. The Nazi tattoo..no wonder people get edgy about the French

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    • Ha Ha, Michael. You always make me laugh. Just post one of your clever remarks early in the day so I can read it as soon as I stagger to my desk! It doesn’t have to be relevant to anything I posted. I was shocked at the tattoo myself. My vet found it. Nobody told me about it when I bought her. And, yes, my beautiful daughter looked exactly like a little monkey with a Mr. Magoo face. I am probably the only mother on the planet who would have seen that resemblance. My husband thought so too. Her grandfather kept telling the ugly newborn how pretty she was going to grow up to be. Apparently, he saw it too and was a bit worried about the little creature! 😉

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  10. So beautiful, so beautiful…. I loved them too dear George, you are so nice. Thank you, Blessing and Happiness for you all. Have a nice day, with my love, nia

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    • My daughter is the best daughter alive. She runs my business and takes care of my every need even before I know I need it. I have no idea how I came to be so blessed. I certainly didn’t deserve it. Demi, the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, is just a bonus, as my sister said. Demi is shy about people, but she loves my daughter. Thank you, Nia.

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      • You are very welcome dear George, I can see this, but you are so nice too, they are all lucky to have you. Kisses for this little one, Love from my early evening, how passed the time… Thanks.

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  11. We’re BOTH blessed with having that beautiful, wonderful child. That precious little Demi is a special bonus for you!!!

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    • You’re right about that! YOUR baby is doing well, but Demi is in trouble. She has forgotten to go outside to potty lately. I think she misses Dollie.

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