That's me – at a very young age with my father. I'm looking very intently at the camera; what is on my mind? What is on my father's, sitting there with a rather forced smile?
I have no recollection whatsoever of that moment, one of several captured on a set of small photographs I came across while tidying up my basement office today. Whatever dramas, big or small, that were going on at the time made no impact on me. Or, at least, no impact that is easily accesible all these years later.
Such are the tricks of time. I look upon that boy as almost a stranger, yet he is integral to me as I am today. I was perhaps fortunate to undergo a lot of psychoanalysis in my evolving treatment for my depression. It gave me a window into the emotions going through that young child, feelings far more turbulent than that rather placid face conveys. Why am I tugging at my father's arm? Do I want him to do something, something that his expression suggests interests him little?
Who knows. Life is full of such moments, each of which can be analysed down to the minutest detail if one so desires, but rarely are. It is difficult to access a process when you are part of it, although I am a strong believer that sleep and dreaming serve at least part of that function.
As it is, looking with a sense of bemusement at that old photograph, I can view such moments with a lot more equanimity than used to be the case. I am very glad about that.