Or sometimes more than a thousand words

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When I first saw it, I was captivated by it.  A simple photo of a friend on Facebook grabbed and held my attention but it was no ordinary photograph.  I had hoped there was more of an explanation to it than mere Photoshop and I was thrilled to hear her tell the story behind the picture.

She had agreed to have her portrait done by her friend who is fascinated by the origin of photography.  He posed her and painstakingly went through the process that photographers went through back in the late 1800’s.  His camera was an antique with the accordion-style lens and the black hood that covered the head of the photographer.

He waited until the precise moment that he thought he had captured her true essence and he let his finger plunge the button that would acquire every detail of her spirit.  The result of his effort was remarkable.  He printed her face on tin to truly encapsulate the original process of printing a photograph.

I stared at her photo for a long time.  There was so much more to it than just a picture of her face.  There was a story in her eyes.  His diligent process captured much more than just who she is now.  This snapshot seemed to hold the story of generations, perhaps lifetimes of moments that led up to her being in his studio and posing for this shot.

It wasn’t a selfie or a picture as a second thought.  There weren’t 100 takes in a minute because that is all we have time for nowadays.  He paused, he let the camera do what it was meant to do and he took a thousand stories, captured them in one single photo and printed them on a piece of tin.

erin

Look at the artwork in this photo and hopefully you can now understand why I was so drawn to my friend’s picture.  Without the use of any computer tricks, this photograph projects so much more than just a face on a piece of paper or a computer screen.  This picture has depth, emotion and a lifetime of moments that led to her presence in our present reality.

If I ever have the chance to do this, I will jump at it.  I would love to see what kind of story my face has to tell and what ghosts from my past linger in the background, searching for recognition.

I had come home

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coming home

There was no sweat on my palms,

merely a certainty I had never known.

There was no rapid heart beat,

only a calm, a sense of knowing

that when we met

we were meant to meet.

It was a feeling of being brought together

after a lifetime apart.

It was a sense that a long journey

had finally come to an end.

It was an understanding

of a soul knowing a soul,

and that our time to meet again had come.

 We had met before,

perhaps decades or a lifetime ago.

We had since locked our doors

and hidden inside,

but your eyes knew my eyes.

You had seen my heart before

and when we met again,

 I recognized you without hesitation

because so much about you was familiar.

I had come home

and you were there to welcome me.

Lighting the fire

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It stands alone.

Like our love, it was once filled with burning embers that cast a warm glow on our world.

But neglect is a powerful thing.

The embers fizzled out.

Charred pieces are all that remain and there is no more warmth.

The elements of life battered what was once beautiful.

The rusty shell stands alone, forgotten and empty.

fire

But a new fire burns within me.

Disappointment has been replaced with hope.

Happiness and passion fuel the flames in my mind.

No longer will my fire be contained.

It is free to burn at will.

And imagination and desire will be the oxygen for my fire.

My wrinkles are my map

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I don’t often stand and look in the mirror for great lengths of time.  Since I cut my hair short and I don’t wear much make-up there is really no need to linger at my reflection.  But this morning I did.  I made the usual faces one makes while looking at themselves and I really studied my face, each crease, each unique spot that has gradually appeared on my skin over the years.

I followed the lines of wrinkles starting to appear around my eyes and, although those fissures are permanent lines in what was once smooth skin, those lines created a map of places I had been in my life.  They are carved from life experiences that made me the person I am today.  Each of those lines tells a story and remembering some of those stories caused me to smile which only pronounced those lines even more.

Senior lady

I like to think I earned each and every one of those laugh lines because I took the time to truly enjoy the good moments I’ve had.   The small lines on my furrowed brow help remind me of the difficult and sad times, but times I undoubtedly learned a lesson or a coping skill.  Those wrinkles belong to me.  I choose to own them because I know the emotions they embody.  They are imprinted in my psyche as much as they are etched on my skin.

My wrinkles are my map.  They have led me from my past and, with the myriad of directions I may follow,  they will help guide me into my future.

Where I find myself

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My head is here,

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lost in what looks like a painting.

Texture emulates emotion, freedom.

The horizon represents reality,

meeting effortlessly with creative indulgence.

There are no rules in the clouds.

My heart is here,

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 swelling with emotion,

nurtured by nature and blessed by light,

comforted by the embrace of the essence of life.

free to move in a path that is meant only for me.

I’ll show you a full moon!

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Yesterday was an interesting day.  The energy in my work space was charged with an unknown element and the entire day felt like I was living in an alternate universe.  People were doing inane things, the simplest conversation turned into a painful thirty minute ordeal and the tension could have been cut by nothing less than a chainsaw.  My rhetorical question was to ask, “is it a full moon?” and the response was an embellished “yes”.

Although there is no direct correlation between the phases of the moon and human behavior, the full moon gives human beings a fantastic excuse for acting like idiots.  The blame is put solely on the celestial orb, taking the onus from the one acting completely out of character but, when the sky is dark, strange behavior is accepted as exactly that with no other plausible justification.

full moon

 (image credit)

Many of our references to luck, or the lack thereof, are written in the stars.  We wish on a falling star.  Our horoscopes are creatively tied to constellations in the sky.  And we blame a magical orb of light for any unfavorable happenings during the phase in which it finds its truest beauty.

On those days that society deems the moon to be the cause of all of its woes,  the child who still resides in my mind hopes that the fantasy man who inhabits that enchanting sphere is truly giving us the full moon.

The things I wouldn’t change about myself

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After reading this post by Little Steps to Somewhere, the concept of having the ability to change your appearance was passed between the two of us.  It made me think about what I would change about my appearance if I were the artist wielding the tools that would carve my body into existence.

Initially my mind began to compose a list of the physical attributes I would alter but then my reasoning got in the way. Due to a sense of logic beyond my grasp, I firmly believe I was meant to plod through my existence in this body, blemishes and all.  Sure my ankles and wrists are more suited to someone who plays football, but this body is me and the embodiment of many lessons I have learned along the way, good and bad.  I gained my strength through my imperfections.

Raggedy_Ann

(image credit)

This body has taught me acceptance and empathy, understanding and insight.  I am a Raggedy Ann in a Barbie Doll world and that suits me just fine.  I am comfortable in my skin because that thick layer of protection has guarded me and served me well.  I have earned each and every scar.  I have learned what ugliness truly is and it does not have anything to do with not having a perfect body.  Ugliness has everything to do with never learning acceptance of those who are different and never showing compassion where compassion is due.

My arms jiggle but nobody notices that when they feel comfort in my embrace.  My cheeks are chubby but that shortcoming is shrouded by my genuine smile.  My mid-section carries extra weight but that casing does its best to guard the heart that always finds its way to my sleeve.  And my eyes tend to leak on a regular basis but I would rather err on the side of human, having cause to buy an extra box of tissues, than to never show any emotion.

So the chisel can stay hidden in the tool chest.  No one part of me is perfect but when I look at the sum of all of my parts, I am pretty happy with the total.