When you live on a farm, time goes by a little slower I think. You’re more in tune with the seasons and the natural ebb and flow of the world. When you’re young that can lead to some boredom, in the winter at least.
A farmer’s wife who lives nearby carried a picture of herself around with her everywhere. Or, not everywhere because one day when I was visiting I saw it sitting on top of a bookshelf and had a look. A matronly woman with gray hair that hung in loose curls down to her shoulders, she met her beloved Cascadian husband in Germany and emigrated here in the 1970s to marry him.
The photo was taken sometime back then. Her hair was a rich, bouncing and curling brown bobbed in front. She wore a white lambswool sweater and was smiling broadly at the camera that had captured her 25 years earlier.
I asked her daughter about the photograph and she told me that her mother usually carried it around with her. “Isn’t that a little strange?” I remarked. “To carry around a picture of yourself?”
She then laid a detailed a system whereby her mother was able to send messages back through time to herself through the photograph. Every so often, she would hold the photograph in each hand and stare at it, concentrating until she entered a trance. She could then converse with her past self, offering advice and thereby sculpting the present more to her liking.
Now, of course I can’t verify that. I have, however, been practicing certain techniques of concentration. Learning to hold symbols and designs in the minds eye, for instance.
And even though it has now been 20 years since the summer I spent in the farmhouse, the image of that photograph sometimes comes unbidden to mind during such sessions.
Sometimes I think about returning to that house, but of course I no longer remember where it is.