"The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself. "
George Bernard Shaw
Normally, people don't get to take photos of me. I am the one hiding behind the camera, and they need to be both fleet of foot and quick of eye to get around my defenses.
It's not that I think my features are unusually absurd or particularly grotesque, but over the years I've developed a dislike for others' lenses, and a tendency to mug for their cameras. This serves to frustrate their endeavours, and it accounts for the great volume of horrible pictures of me on file. Oliver Cromwell is reported to have said "My image is a poor one but mine own; you must paint me as you find me, wart and all".
When I was smaller, I became quite fascinated by the lines and creases that developed in people's faces over the course of time. I even spent long hours looking into the bathroom mirror, experimenting with different expressions, trying to impress the lines I wanted into the pale, unformed lump of dough that was my own undistinguished map.
As you can see, it worked! I believe that we grow into the faces we deserve. Heredity, health and hazard play their parts, but mostly we wear the faces of our unique experience, and frequently, they betray our character.
My friend, Caer Weber, has a new camera and last week, she asked a number of friends to pose for her. She lined us up in front of the wall of a building where we meet on occasion, gave us a few simple directions, and snapped away. These two pictures are her result for me.
The black and white image at the top of the page is the one that she likes best. She says, " I think it's a really nice one of you. The kindness in you comes through your eyes so well." Well, I suppose that, like the rest of my face, is something that I'll have to learn to live with.
Thank you, Caer - I am very pleased with your work.