We visited Europe this past summer, and met our daughter in Rome, Italy. We stayed in Rome for several days, and of course, you need to visit the Vatican Museum when you visit Rome! The place is incredible, just the amount of artwork in that museum could potentially take days to really explore. But we only had half a day. And so in that half a day we saw a lot of ancient relics of the Roman past.
In a number of the hallways that depicted artwork from the time of imperial Rome, there were a number of collections of busts of ancient Romans. Many of them are now forgotten. A few had names, but most were just like snapshots of people that are no longer known.
I had to take their photographs. But as I stood there looking out at the faces looking back, I wondered about the lives they once lived. I wondered if these depictions were "real" in the sense that I asked the question of these busts - did they capture their essence, their spirits, there sense of who they were? I don't know the answer to that. But I stood there and wondered. And I wondered what those who are yet to be born would think of us in our digital photographs of today. Would there be any evidence of our existence like that which was lined up before me on the marble shelf?
As most everything was black and white - agreeably mostly white - it wasn't much to convert this to black and white. The starkness of the black and white gives voice to these busts, to those whose likeness were before me. And I realized that they could be any of us today, that there isn't much that separates us from them, except time and distance of history.
They and us, we are very much alike!