I love photographing fragments of the past, trying to capture a life once lived.
I dwell on how monstrously different his day-to-day life unfolded, as compared to mine.
I think of the hands of the person who placed each stamp, fingers stained yellow from the last cigarette.
What thoughts tumbled through his head as he spooned out a heap of coffee grounds?
Did he share a cup with a lover, sitting shirtless across the dinning table?
Or did he drink it alone, calico cat slinking slowly in between his legs?
Maybe he was a she, working 12-hour shifts at the factory to support the war effort.
Missing her husband.
Missing her son.
Did she have a brother in the Great War?
Did the brother ever come home?
There were too many who did not.
How differently would they see me, archiving their pins and glass jars and fragile memories?
Unable to even comprehend being able to talk to someone on the other side of the planet,
With a computer we carry around in our pockets without a second thought.
Soon to be another fragment, my cell phone a faint echo of my life lived,
Soon to be captured by another curious photographer exploring the past.
© Mike Yost
Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2017