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Photo of the Week
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This week in the Photo of the Week:


photo of this weeks photo of the week

Photo: Maarten Zeehandelaar


Children, especially infants, can be more truthful mirrors than actual mirrors.

In fact, actual mirrors are hardly truthful at all, because they project nothing but ourselves perceiving ourselves (this is why photographic portraits can surprise or displease us easily– what we see may not at all resemble what we see in the mirror).

In this respect, let met tell you a little story about the woman in this photograph.

Once upon a time there was an infant that did not tolerate the presence of any other humans than its own mother and father. Even next of kin such as grandparents, aunts and uncles were met with fierce crying, to which more decibels were added should one of them try to hold or pick-up the infant. What happened when strangers came by goes without saying.

Unwittingly and as blank as a new piece of canvas, the infant caused much turmoil among the people surrounding it. Its preferences fueled all kinds of insecurities, which in turn fueled unfounded opinions, preconceptions and judgments, which sometimes even led to aimless disputes. Although absolutely nobody could really tell what moved the child to behave in this manner, absolutely everybody had an opinion on the matter.

Then she came along. She didn't know the family, had never seen the parents before and was one of those perfect strangers that would usually set of a wail of disapproval. But something was different, this time.

She greeted the parents and, pleased to see the child and oblivious of all turmoil that surrounded it, she simply extended her hands, took the child, placed it on her knees and played with it. While the parents held their breath, the child shrieked with joy. It observed and it tried to imitate, take part in the simple games that she offered.

As to the how and why of this particular moment, I guess we will never get very far uncovering what went on in the infant's mind.

But we can say this: indisputably a wonderful and ever so simple connection was made in a moment of great beauty – the kind of beauty that no mirror will ever ever show.

Text by: Peter-Jan Vermeij
Website Peter-Jan (in Dutch)

Until the next Photo of the Week!

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Texts and photography –unless stated otherwise–
all rights reserved © 2010-2013 Maarten Zeehandelaar

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