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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The pictures of us.

I was telling my daughter just last month how I hardly ever see her in pictures she sends me since she is busy with all kinds of tasks, especially capturing the fleeting moments of childhood.
And there is the story we leave behind, not of ourselves, but of those we love, those we hold dear to our hearts.

On our only vacation in France, in a moment of sheer frustration on some thing or other, I handed my husband the phone camera I had, and asked him to take my picture,  He hesitated, making some excuse I can't recall. What I recall is how that refusal, at that particular moment, in a particular setting where I wanted to be memorialized and wasn't, that refusal appeared so callous and harsh at that moment.

I saw it as a betrayal of sorts.
A denial of something that touched deeply, but it was hard to name.
A negligence on his part that was casual and inconsequential, but has stayed as a dark spot, an incomprehensible stain I still can't figure it. I have to add that he did take a picture of me by that creek and mill that had been painted by Van Gogh.

What is about our expectations that leaves us stunned when deep beliefs are contradicted by one statement?
I can name a whole lot of moments when he took pictures of me, and I didn't want to be in any of them.

I can now peruse pictures I took of my children, and can tell you about that moment and the moment before and after, and the moods each was in. I didn't know then what I know now: that pictures carry a whole lot of meaning that is hardly appreciated at the moment, but immensely treasured when that person is gone.