Sunday, 10 October 2010

An Air Of Mystery

If I was asked to choose the single most fascinating thing about our identical twin granddaughters, I'd be scratching my head for a while. There are so many aspects of their character and behaviour to be fascinated with.

I took a series of photographs of the twins just recently. This one 
was almost consigned to the waste bin. Then I had a thought. 
Perhaps this is what mystery looks like, when it surrounds certain aspects of behaviour.

At 18 months old, they are into everything. They play together and they play independently, finding new and interesting applications for the contents of their toy box. They share their snacks and pass each other's drinks. They squabble over a single item yet, openly offer the spare, where there are two.

If one gets upset, the other cries too. When either of them lands with a bump, the other is there with a look of concern and a reassuring stroke of the hair.

Most curious of all is 'twin talk' or, cryptophasia. More often than not, they'll communicate with glances or hand gestures. At odd times, you can feel like an outsider, as they actually talk to each other in their own language. It is totally exclusive and, although it sounds a bit like gobbledegook, it's mutually understood by them.

I've heard all kinds of stories about identical twins. Among the most interesting was one told to me by a friend and former colleague. When she was at university, one of her lecturers was an identical twin. He had a very bad stammer, which was sometimes hard to control. His twin brother was also a lecturer in another university. During the time my friend was being taught by the brother with the stammer, his twin died. Almost simultaneously, her lecturer lost the stammer he'd had since childhood. A mystery, don't you think?


  1. Yes indeed. Watching your twins closely may one day provide you with an answer of sorts, provided you learn to speak their language, of course.

  2. Twins are fascinating. I know that their parents and grandparents sometimes get tired of the attention they garner, but human nature is such that we will never tire of the miracle of twinness! Beware, though. Very soon they will start cooperating to get into mischief!

  3. The ways of twins are mysterious; enjoy them every moment you can - being with grandchildren must be so special.

  4. My father was a twin but his brother did not survive. Both my sister and brother have twins in their families. How different it would be I think, to have a twin.

  5. The life and behavior of twins is so amazing. There are so many studies that have been done to try and unravel/understand the mechanisms behind how twins behave, not only with one another, but also with others. So much learned... so much still to be uncovered. I can only imagine that it takes a twin to understand one... and even then!


  6. I always think that the relationship between twins must represent one of the greatest voids in understanding human behaviour. What must it be like to be half of a set of identical twins : it is so difficult to think yourself into that role.

  7. Friko - I'll stick to the language I know, and wait for them to catch me up, before overtaking me.

    Susan - I hear you, loud and clear. They are already showing signs of working as an effective team.

    Marilyn - They are, indeed, very special. We value every moment spent with them.

    Joan - Yes, I wonder, at which point, they will discover that they are identical.

    Nevine - I believe there will always be a certain 'something' between the two, that no one else will be privy to.

    Alan - I agree. I've tried to imagine what it would be like, but it's one of those questions that could tie your brains in knots.

  8. My "Experimental Photography" prof would love that picture and your definition of it! And it really makes you look twice and ponder the meaning of it, great art! :-)

  9. It's a complete miracle to have one baby but to be blessed with two kind of blows our minds. It's seemingly beyond our comprehension what such a mysterious relationship must be like, your photograph portrays that magical quality so brilliantly!


  10. Merisi - Thank you. I honestly had it earmarked for the trash, but it just goes to show, we should examine what we have captured, closely, before making a final judgement.

    Half-heard in the Stillness - Thank you for such nice comments. We're just back from spending the day with our granddaughters. And each day is magical, in it's own way.


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