August 25, 2013

Who Do You See in the Mirror? ~ Kristina Peterson

Reflections: Portraits of Us as We Once Were

Photographer Tom Hussey was having a conversation with a World War II veteran named Gardner one day about his upcoming 80th birthday.  Gardner told him he didn’t understand how he could be 80 years old. He still felt like a young man. Tom recognized the same feeling in himself and realized that no matter how old we are, we think of ourselves as younger than we are.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Do you see the passing of youth or do you see the attainment of wisdom? The lines and wrinkles of age tell our unique story.  Everything Changes.  And one day, we too will cease to be in our bodies and will instead be in everything.

Based on his image of Gardner, Tom was awarded a job for an alzheimer’s drug which helps patients hold on to long term memories. The complete series is available to view on his website. He portrays people as they reflect on their younger selves in the mirror.

Each picture tells a unique, wordless story.

The images make us think about our lives, our loves and the fact that if we are very, very lucky, we too will get to grow old. It is a privilege not everyone is granted.

Two of my grandparents suffered from Alzheimers.  I made a photo album for each of them with pictures and explanations of who they were, who they had been and who we were as a family.  They kept them by their bedsides so they could refer to them when their thoughts got fuzzy or lost.

A photograph has an amazing power to tell a story, keep us grounded and knit our past to our present.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

{photos via: Tom Hussey}


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