They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I wonder.I found some photos at my mom’s house that looked like they could have been taken by Gordon Parks or James Van Der Zee.
These pictures were all black and white or in sepia-tone. There were beautiful people with great smiles wearing stylish clothing and flawless make-up in unbelievable settings.But these were real people that we knew. Family and their friends, some I recognized and some I didn’t. Most of these pictures were probably from the 50s or 60s, some earlier or later, but just guessing from the hair and clothing, the ages of some folks I recognized.
There were others that were much older. I found one of a group of kids that looked like it could have dated back to the Depression era. My mom didn’t know who any of them were and said that many of them had just been passed down over the years.Something happens to someone, and someone else inherits a big box of photos, and the stories they attempt to share.
While I was looking at the pictures, I wondered if the people in them had a clue about how amazing and fascinating their life really was.Probably not. Would anyone?
I took it as a reminder to try to appreciate the now.
That which seems absurdly normal this minute could be absurdly otherwise some years from now.It also made me wish I had known them and had the opportunity to speak with them. A few of them are still alive but much, much older and not really where I can reach them.
I asked my mom to make a journal, using the photographs and writing anything she could remember about the picture or the people in it so we would never forget.A picture all by itself no matter how amazing is only revealing but so much.
I commented on a few pictures of the same couple, holding drinks and holding hands, smiling and smooching.My mom confirmed that they were a mostly happy couple. So happy together that one was often miserable when they were apart. Most likely because the other one was married to someone else.
Pictures are pretty cool, but contrary to popular opinion they say a lot less than we wish they would.With all the complexities captured about a still moment in time, you can’t really tell someone’s story in a thousand words.
I mean, you could, but odds are it wouldn’t be enough.
Seems appropriate… Jamiroquai – Stillness in Time
Someone’s favorite song… Hank Williams, Jr. – Your Cheatin’ Heart
Mozez – Feel Free