Lost in A Photographs

The only thing she knows now: it is not safe to cry. Holding on her only strategy but here, in this old photograph you  cannot see that in her eyes, not in this image  taken way back when, before experience and grief robbed her of innocence and hope. Looking at that image now you say “Is that really her?” and yes it is. “But she looks so gentle there, like another women altogether.” I nod my head because you’ve said it all

Taken before the world tore at her  soul, when she thought her future blessed with love and children who might run along the beach .  Taken at that tender age, when plans existed but not  experience,  before war shredded  her native land, taking what she loved beyond her reach leaving those same eyes, but altered now, to view a kind of hell where only the wise and foolish dare to peek.

She did not know, as we do not, the stirring of those tectonic plates which move the social landscape of our times. Could not guess that boy who smiled at her,  known as gentle in the community is now a thousand miles away preaching martyrdom and hatred to other men altered, as is he. Lost in the excitement of some appalling vision. A sweet relief, he feels, from material mediocrity, or so he thinks. What does he know?

This same women, now a mother, knows he is too young, as she was then, to understand it is the small stuff which holds the secret of a life,  longing as he is, to engage with elements of destiny and faith: this young boy, her son, seduced by evil dressed up as nobility: a holy cause he feels, a dream of cleansing a world he thinks rotted by its its greed.

His eyes are full of certainty and hate, leaving this women, his mother, now lost in the knowledge that this boy, her son, cannot hear her now, and  dreams only of martyrdom and faith. She hides in her solitude, lost for words, unable to explain, how her sweet boy, who left her home to study medicine, learnt only how to kill without remorse, and seek for brotherhood where laughter is a sin.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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23 Responses to Lost in A Photographs

  1. Laura Jones says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! *follows*


  2. A view into a heart few dare to see. For, if we chose to, we might have to change our own preconceptions, our own grasp on a perceived reality.


  3. ksbeth says:

    it must be so hard to stand by, knowing…and not a thing that can be done about it –


  4. gotham girl says:

    so very touching…


  5. Heartbreaking…and a bit of insight into nature vs. nurture.


  6. And therein lies the conundrum – do we protect Youth from the voices of evil, and stunt growth, or do we hope that sense will prevail? And at what point do we draw the line in freedom of speech?
    This is a powerful piece, Peter, which hits hard at the impact of fanaticism. One can only kope that one day Peace will ensue.


  7. I have often thought about this, but you say it so much better than my mind did. It is heartbreaking.


  8. Extremely powerful, Peter.


  9. A. Very powerful piece Peter. As always in your more serious subjects, you have made me think.


  10. As I read this, I thought of old pictures of my grandmother…smiling pictures, before her disappointments put a perpetual scowl on her lovely face.


  11. genusrosa says:

    They are both locked in a devastating solitude. The mother, with love once so natural, now shamed by this same love made terrifying; the son with his appalling vision, his noble ‘grandeur’ of horrendous deeds born of hate. Hate that is as powerful, as entrenched, as the love that nurtured him. What dreadful irony. You have told it in eloquent understatement, yet even so it is a subject that seethes with raw emotion. Perhaps you could write the sequel, and make us believe, with equal mastery of words, that he changes? I want to believe that he can.


  12. Marian Green says:

    This gave me chills and pricked my soul. For reasons I can not explain here. Thank you.


  13. Beautifully and touchingly written as always.


  14. catterel says:

    Your empathy is amazing, Peter. Another terrible and beautiful piece.


  15. Your writing is simply superb! And have I told you congrats on your new book? Well I haven’t.. congrats 🙂


  16. restlessjo says:

    Scarily probable, Peter. It’s not too long since a mum was crying on our screens at the ‘loss’ of her daughter. We do not have children for this…


  17. gwpj says:

    One of the world’s great tragedies, Peter, when this kind of thing occurs, and the sweet child we once knew find his (or her) destiny in hatred and rage.


  18. Ina says:

    A posting with much tragedy behind the words, and so true.


  19. Al says:

    We are a fragile and delicate species, prone to lean toward any cause that uses some pseudo diety as its “cause celebre”. Youth, of course, as especially vulnerable to this siren call. But then, you knew this.


  20. what made him change his mind?


  21. Well said. Behind all the evil of the species stands a god seconded to a cause.


  22. jmmcdowell says:

    You have a wonderful way of giving “the events of the world” a human face with your words.


  23. r e douville says:

    Too many seduced by false glories and illusory promises, and what is more, these traps are not confined to one part of the world.


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