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Together, but separate

"United we stand, divided we fall." Aesop

This is my Redstone Diary's photo for the week. The title underneath reads:

"Anton Chekhov with the family of the publisher Suvorin, Russia, date unknown."

Having now looked for photos of Chekhov I think that he is the man in the foreground on the right with a lady who is presumably his wife.

But really it doesn't matter which one he is, because this is not about Chekhov, it's about the segmentation of those people, who are intimately connected - some by family - the topic of the diary, and some by work. I assume Suvorin is Chekhov's publisher.

I have no idea how these people connect, but assume the old lady at the front is the matriarch and the man with her, the publisher. Who knows and it doesn't matter. What matters is how the photographer has posed them, with each group physically separated from the other - there are four definite quarters.

When you look at each group you can see each one of them has a story and each face within each group too. Of course they had to stay still for some time for the photograph, but nevertheless emotions and personalities shine through. An almost angry lady in the front, with her hand aggressively on her hip, a mildly devil may care boy child dangling his feet over the balcony, a sad looking young woman looking at her female companion with what exactly? Jealousy, envy ...? And why is the man in the balcony on the right almost hidden by the shrubbery? The old lady seems indifferent to it all, she isn't even looking at the camera, and Chekhov, not of the family, somehow holds your eyes. He seems to be the one in command.

And yet this is a family - tied together by blood and genes.

I love old photos like this. I'm sure if I was a novelist I could write several books from just this one picture.

Really I just wanted to share it, but because this is a food blog, I will just say that it's sort of a metaphor for how a number of totally different ingredients come together to form a dish, or even an entire meal. Maybe in this case it would be a meal, with a number of different dishes because they are all so separate from each other. Each little group perhaps represents a dish with the entire set making a meal. Each person or ingredient playing it's part.

Although not, in this case I think, a successful or a happy one. You have to unite as a whole, or it doesn't work - the food that is. A family inevitably divides as time passes and the children leave.

There - all I have to say. Just a thought.


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Mar 05
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Very literary and informed. Is it food as a metaphor for life or the other way round?

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