As per this week's Sepia Saturday prompt, and a celebration of women as the world sees women gathering in great numbers to have their voices be heard today—and every day—I give you a lone photographer from long ago.
This image is partially why I started this blog.
I purchased a photo album at an estate sale in 2008. I arrived at the sale quite late and figured I was out of luck. But there on the edge of a coffee table was an old intact photo album of a journey two fellas took across country around 1913. It included a typed diary and lots of photos. Nothing spectacular about the album, especially at the $50 asking price. But then I saw this photo, very tiny near the back. It had nothing to do with the travel diary and was amongst a few photos that had been added long after the trip was over. I had to have this photo. As some inanimate objects do, it spoke to me.
I chose this photo to be the image that represents my identity for Tattered and Lost. It is even the cover shot for my first book. Over the years I have begun seeing myself as that woman on the beach with her skirt hiked up into breeches, the waves rolling in around her feet, the people farther down the beach watching the horizon. I would have been that woman had I lived back then. And so now she is me.
She is viewing the world through her lens. I like to think she took this photo, but have no proof of that.
The reality is that someone was taking a photo of her when she was taking this photo. That photo we will never see. I like to think these women took these poses, feeling free enough to be themselves, because they felt safe with who was taking the shot.
It's a good day to celebrate women. We are not lesser than, we are equal to no matter what anyone believes. And we're not going back.