A beautiful picture of sisters wearing identical dresses. This photo was taken in 1976, and reflects the patchwork dresses with pinafores that were popular during the Bicentennial Era. Do you remember pinafore dresses? I wore a pink dotted Swiss dress with a white pinafore in my 2nd grade school picture. I loved pinafores!
Here is a beautiful quote from Rebecca Goldstein about sisters and pinafores. Of course, it’s about so much more than that, as Maria Popova explained on her blog in 2014. In a review of Goldstein’s book, Betraying Spinoza, she reflects on “the mystery of personal identity and what makes you and your childhood self the same person despite a lifetime of change.”
The series of contiguous physical events has rendered the child’s body so different from the one I glance down on at this moment; the very atoms that composed her body no longer compose mine. And if our bodies are dissimilar, our points of view are even more so. Mine would be as inaccessible to her … as hers is now to me. Her thought processes, prelinguistic, would largely elude me.
“Yet she is me, that tiny determined thing in the frilly white pinafore. She has continued to exist, survived her childhood illnesses, the near-drowning in a rip current on Rockaway Beach at the age of twelve, other dramas. There are presumably adventures that she — that is that I — can’t undergo and still continue to be herself. Would I then be someone else or would I just no longer be? Were I to lose all sense of myself — were schizophrenia or demonic possession, a coma or progressive dementia to remove me from myself — would it be I who would be undergoing those trials, or would I have quit the premises? Would there then be someone else, or would there be no one?”