pictures of me as a balanced child

My family is in the habitude of telling me how odd I was a child, since I’m similarly odd as an adult. It never quite dawned on me until I looked at pictures from my childhood. I’m having copies made, but it would be nice if some of them existed on the web, as relics of the 2000s; such a nostalgic era.

I’m not quite sure what I was doing; maybe mimicking a crab?

I know I wasn’t fond of people.

Stardom.

Mom says I liked umber and russet; I think even my expressions embodied those colours.

My sister tended to annoy me by saying my eyes were as black as nightfall, and she could never see the iris. I now understand her.

It truly eludes me as to why I held wilted rose petals as if I had just waged a centenary crusade against every bush in the garden. I probably did, though.

My parents have over twenty-five thousand pictures from the 90s and 2000s, along with twenty hours of film. It’s daunting to sieve through it all, especially when it carries so many dormant memories. I did pay a plaintive price for my strangeness, later on, but I can confidently say that I wouldn’t trade it for much, since now, my strangeness is my charm.

Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

96 thoughts on “pictures of me as a balanced child

    1. It’s somewhat fun, because they truly are as dark as dark they come. My saving grace is that I have long eyelashes that give an illusion of ocular openness, otherwise, I’d appear pretty demonic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny, if one were to look at your own childhood pictures and mine side-by-side, we are practically at the opposite sides of spectrum.
        I’m guessing you won many points by looking angelic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not sure! All old photos of me back then are in black and white. Looking back I think I was a nasty little prick as a kid. I wasn’t necessarily naughty – just nasty, with a huge temper to go with it! You – with long eye lashes and black eyes – look like you could get away with murder!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I did, Bruce, I did.
        They never found the son of our neighbors. He wasn’t nice to the other kids. Mysteriously disappeared, they say.
        But I know…

        I know.

        Have you seen these blinkers, though? Totally natural.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. As the post indicates, I truly was an odd child. I didn’t get along too well with other kids, and that became more embossed the older I got. At ten, my parents would give me ice-cream money (which, at the time, was about five euros) and I’d use it to buy used books from a british salesman, since he sold them at considerably lower prices than those from actual bookshops (he sold at three euros a piece, but they usually go for upwards of ten euros a piece).
        A small caveat was that they were all in English, and I didn’t know English, at the time. I learnt English from reading the books themselves, through cataloguing latinate words that I could “geometrise” with Portuguese and French, trying to understand modal values and predicates through general placement of syntax, so on. It took a lot of energy, and it gave me a somewhat disjointed, archaic English to work with, which I’m still shedding today, especially in creative work. Concomitantly, it also gave me an enormous passion for Literature, most specifically, Literature of the English variety.

        Liked by 5 people

      5. That’s fascinating. Part of your writing “charm” – the style – is that you use a word that is transmuted from somewhere else to somewhere else… It is usually quite clear in meaning (to me at least) and adds a newness to your writing. An example from today’s posting would be “My family is in the habitude of telling me …” It’s so much more appealing and erudite than using words none of us have a clue what they mean. It’s why I said initially that I was keen to follow your blog (for a while at least!) and learn a fresh way to manipulate language. I’m not a linguist although I prepare chemistry documents these days for translation. My partner speaks/writes nine languages.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh, Bruce, I wish I was quite clear to everyone else. If I get beat over the head with a stick over anything in my writing, it’s for the words I use. Though, thinking about it, if you don’t know what refulgent means, where have you been?
        I’m still trying to enrapture you into following me for more than a while, if not only so I can learn how your partner knows and writes in nine languages. I’m envious, she must have a magnificent brain.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Those who don’t know what refulgent means must be quite dull!
        My internet connection is off and on this morning, so I’ll answer this in full when the wretched thing starts behaving. But for starters – Shakespeare invented more words than you could ever do!!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Also, you censor the f**king but you leave the shit? I’m hopeful that wasn’t selected on purpose, because I’d rather have you leave the former than the latter, Bruce.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I didn’t like to type fuck because I wasn’t sure if you liked it on your blog (or in life for that matter). As for S**t – I guess it differs from country to country. In USA they were always a bit horrified if I said “S**t”. Where I live my mother would say s**t but never the other.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You were such an adorable — and intelligent-looking! — child. There is wisdom in those beautiful eyes. Your parents sound like they snapped and videotaped a lot! Did you get tired of having your picture taken? I know I took a lot of my kids when they were younger, and nowadays they aren’t so thrilled to have their pics taken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly? I barely ever noticed. I can’t remember a singular time in which they took my picture, but I have an awful memory, especially of my childhood. It’s mostly a blur, haha.
      I don’t mind having all the pictures, now; I’m actually quite glad, mostly because of this poor memory of mine, it allows me to revisit some hidden shards of past that I wouldn’t otherwise have accessed.
      Surely, one day, they will be thankful too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would kill to have photos of my awkward youth. Alas, they were mostly lost in a house fire (no, I did not set it). Hard to become a functioning human being without an awkward youth. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh… It’s heart-sundering to lose memories. I think I’d be inconsolable, truly. These are so important to me.
      Thank you, for always supporting me, and for at least assuming that I’m a functioning human being. It truly means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad, Dwight. I was indeed a bit odd here and there, especially socially, but I was always a healthy, happy kid, and very normal in the general sense!
        Thank you for your kindness.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Jokes on you, Bob, my face is the slimmest part of my body. I do face-ups every time I’m at the gym. Every day is face day.
        I shall never have a fat face. Try again, commoner!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Embrace your oddness. Normal is boring and suppresses change. Odd changes the world.

    I too was the odd child in my family. Now, I’m the odd sister or the odd aunt. In my case, my oddness made me an uncomfortable person in their lives and a self-imposed outcast.

    My own black-eyed boy is his own brand of odd too, though less stringently the SJW than me, I think. Or, maybe it’s because his own mother is a such a SJW that he is allowed to comfortably inhabit the social justice mores that were looked at askance in me.

    My Persian husband once told me that he couldn’t take me to visit Iran with him because, “You wouldn’t be able to keep quiet if you saw something and you’d get us arrested.” He’s probably right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a marvelous thing to be a mom, an informed, a rational theist, and a defender of the rights of those with oppressed voices.
      I’m of the LBGTQ+ spectrum myself, and allies mean everything to me.

      It did become uncomfortable for them, eventually, and I think it still is today; I also grew to become emotionally stolid and inexpressive; a very goal-focused teenager, in a way to salve my “oddness”. I would, at least, not give the them the disappointment of lassitude and laziness.
      I suppose that was my saving grace, but I do wish I had started my artistic journeys sooner, had I a better structure to do so.
      Regardless, I’m super happy to have you here, you’re an inspiration to us all, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Ron! Thankfully, I’m not too much like Rimbaud, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. (but my hair, in some pictures, looks a lot like his)
      You, too, are an inspiration!

      Like

      1. I will eventually get around to posting some, don’t worry. I’m incredibly grateful for your words, as always. Your kindness is limitless, as illimitable as your talents.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Rimbaud completely stopped writing at the age of 20, and I’m 24; if I was like Rimbaud, I wouldn’t be here. I would be alive, but not here.
      And you’re certainly an inspiration. You have some brilliant lines “black and white is cold, correctly cold. The bare sky a smudge / forbidding entrance”, is one such example. I’d kill to have written that.
      I think you’re very talented, you just need some editing in regards to form (the good old parsimony, which I don’t have either, haha), and more projection, which is essentially just interacting with other creators more, see who clicks with you and who doesn’t, and focus on who doesn’t (I know, strange advice).
      But you’re good, Ron, don’t doubt that.

      Like

      1. Thanks man. Coming from you this is high praise. I have always associated you with Rimbaud, the boy wonder aspect I suppose. Didn’t realize he died so young. I hope you are well and in good spirits. Much love!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, Ron, no no, he didn’t die young, he just stopped writing. He didn’t publish anything after 20. He was very much alive after that, though.
        I, too, hope you are well!

        Like

    1. She quite deserved such fate, since I have about three other pictures of the same event, and in all, she’s gob-smack in front of me. That snap was a demonstration of triumph, one of few in my life.
      Thanks for stopping by, Brian, you’re awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha we’ll I’m afraid the only thing stygian about us ends with the opaque color of our eyes and if we were to bring about a disaster then disasters are a delight.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that is a special dissonance when it comes to infancy; it’s a fabrication of a fabrication, so there is truly no veritable way to mirror the sublimated reality we live in the ideated reality that we lived, then, as beings entirely unequipped to translate life in the hues we now see in it.
      What we do carry, I find, is otherness. I find in my mother the same feeling I had when those pictures were taken, and it seems irreducible and immutable throughout my whole life.
      Also, thanks for coming by, Dom. I’m an avid reader of your content, and I like you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed your post and childhood photos, but equally enjoyed the candor in the replies above! My late Mum always had a camera in front of her face (and mine), I have around 100 albums to sift through still and digitize some of the special memories. I was an awkward kid too, it’s not hard for me to be socially distant now, I have been most of my life 🙂 As I get older I find I’m getting less self-conscious and more confident, but I still days when I just want to hide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a bit socially etiolated, I find, but nothing too serious. I do generally believe it gives me some charm, this thing of not being as socially aware as most. People can seem so artificial otherwise.
      Thank you so much for prescrutating through my paltry blog, and I always try to be as rich as I’m able in these replies. It means a lot to me that people give their time to my expressions, and I honour that time, or at least, I always try to honour it.

      Liked by 1 person

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