Bridging the Divided

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

One of the kids got us a digital frame for Christmas. My husband gave all the kids the link to add photos. The frame has lots of photos that continuously cycle through. Digital frames are better than photo albums, better than pictures sitting on the mantle or hung on a wall. As I watch them cycle through I see something different each time. The photos tell the story of our lives, the lives of our children in their relationships and with us as a family. 

I live in the now. A serious car accident when I was 26 and 30 years of an abusive marriage left me with spotty memories at best. Faces of people, names, incidences that others recall prior to the accident are gone, wiped from my memory banks. My mom and I talk every afternoon, and she often brings up people from my past or things that happened in my younger days. No recollection, nothing is triggered. It’s strange, but I have gotten used to it over the years. As far as the abusive marriage is concerned, I think I lived in survival mode for so long, memories are hidden in the shadows. At times, my children will talk about something from our collective past and a partial memory may float to the surface or a niggle pops up. Again, strange, but normal, whatever normal is. Healing has helped bring some of the good times with my kids back into focus. Now is where I live, however, for better or worse. 

Watching the pictures scroll by on the digital frame connects me with events from our lives. I consider it part of the healing process, too. I many not remember the exact event captured in the image, but the emotions rise to the surface. And that is the more important thing, isn’t it? The emotions connected to life’s precious moments?

As we age, pictures become more important. They keep us connected to the past, the present, and to the legacy we eventually leave behind. Candid pictures are the best, aren’t they? Those fleeting moments captured on film are some of my favorites. Each time the pictures scroll by I smile. I read once parents need to make sure their pictures are taken because our kids need that connection after we pass from this life into eternity. I’m glad pictures of me are sprinkled throughout the memories scrolling by on the digital frame. The pictures represent the laughter and love we share, the important moments of our lives, and sometimes bittersweet and sad moments; remembrances of happier times. 

Historically, many cultures feared picture taking in the early days of photography. Some feared the camera would steal the soul. Others believed photos promoted vanity and pride. And, still others believed photographic images were an inadequate substitute for the beauty of the moment. Obviously, photography does not steal the soul, and I disagree the images are inadequate. As I look at the images scrolling by of my beloved human and fur family members, the beauty of the love they share with others radiates from the frame, their carefree moments are immortalized, and their smiles genuine and unprovoked by uttering the word cheese.

Life is so very temporary. Uncaptured moments of joy, laughter, and tears are gone forever. We need those moments. It is said a picture paints a thousand words…..

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