Hiding tucked away in a closet, framed but not displayed, sits my silhouette from kindergarten. I was such a cute, dainty little thing back then and my trademark feature was the golden ponytail sprouting from the top of my head. Though I rarely remember that the silhouette resides in the closet, I have never been able to dispose of it. It is a reminder of innocence, of simple and happy times. There is joy in the memory of making this replica of myself, of my teachers taking the time to trace my image, of taking it home to share with my mom. It was the first time I paid attention to the contrast of light and dark, of black and white. It prompted me to pay attention to shadows, especially my shadow. I remember the wonder of seeing my shadow following me on a sunny day and laughing as we hopped and skipped in unison. Even now it brings a smile to my face and makes me think of Peter Pan and his search to find his shadow. We tend to lose hold of those simple pleasures as we grow.
That being said though, I am not so sure that I would appreciate having silhouettes from other ages lurking around my house. I can only imagine the stark differences I would note. The one from age sixteen might show a chubby facade with glasses and a perm. I suppose one from my twenties would be acceptable; I had once again thinned out and had taken to wearing contacts and long, loose curls. Yes, that girl I might like to remember. Sadly, there is absolutely no way I would want a current silhouette. Now that I am in my late forties, I have foregone the contacts and reverted to glasses once more (trifocals, no less), and I typically wear my hair in a haphazard bun/ponytail on the top of my head, which isn’t near as cute as my former one. Should the silhouette capture more than just my head, it would probably look like I posed while wearing a swimming tube around my waist. Ugh! That isn’t an image I hope to retain. The only good thing about a black and white image of my current self is that it wouldn’t show that my hair is now a collage of dark brown, light brown, gray, and white. It drives my mom crazy that I refuse to color it, and she lovingly refers to me as “the old lady”.
So while I have no desire to dispose of my framed silhouette, let’s just call it “one and done”. Regardless of the joy it evokes, I have no desire to relive the experience. It just wouldn’t be the same.