29 May 2012

This happened in another country, at a time of great promise. When people were slowly beginning to accept that happiness was possible. And still, they were cautious, suspicious of their giddy expectations.
I have no memories of the girl that was me in this picture but I remember my mother braiding my sister's hair in the mornings. I can see my sister sitting behind my father on the bicycle carrier, wrapping her arms around him. I remember sucking my thump while watching him mixing our breakfast muesli.
I can see my parents kissing at the top of the stairs, my mother leaning against the bannister, her head falling backwards. I remember a long tanned arm reaching down to stroke my hair, shiny gold bangles jingling.
I remember the smell of my baby brother, holding my breath, terrified, as I watched my father lifting the new baby up higher and higher and then giggling with relief.
I know from looking at this picture that they tried really hard for a while.
But I don't remember the girl on the left at all.


  1. Joy and sadness mingle.

  2. Mmm, Sabine. So much here in these short lines. So much. And so striking. Really tugs at the heart.

  3. Your energy in this photo is exuberant. I wonder whom you are engaging with so wholeheartedly and unselfconsciously. Fascinating how different siblings are in development when they are so close in age and that we remember some early moments so clearly but have no memory of ourselves in those moments. The three of you look safe and secure and loved in this glimpse.