Friday, October 5, 2012

Words Don't Fit The Picture

We ran across this installment by Ron Terada on our trip to Vancouver, BC in July.  I've mulled over the words in this picture many times in the last months.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if no words fit the picture?  Or what if there are too many words to fit the picture?  Or what if I can't think of a caption that highlights all the ins and outs of that particular moment in less than a paragraph.  I've always had a problem with being a little wordy, even when it comes to photos.

As I've scrolled through photos from the last decade trying to will myself to print some to hang on the bare walls of our home, I realized that there are too many snapshots of life that are worth more than a thousand words and the words don't fit the picture. Like this one:

I could just call this Fondue night with the Hesses.  But here's my thousand words: This isn't even our family.  This is our first apartment in Kabul. These are some of our favorite kids.  This is before we shaved Alia's head.  I love Nico's spider web tattoo on his face, such a cool kid, one of Joey's best friends.  Later that night we watched Tale of Despereaux with the Hess kids and the sound was broken and it went from really quiet to super loud and made Tara scream.  I read a chapter from that book to the third grade class at the International School of Kabul earlier that week.  The kids asked me if I'd ever met a Native American.  My friend Adrianne had just cut my hair (still love that cut).    There's a microwave in that picture, we haven't owned a microwave since that apartment.  And it's winter in Kabul 'cause there's a bukhari in the background. . . I love winter in Kabul.  I hate winter in Kabul.  When I was in eastern Washington last weekend inhaling smoke from the wildfires, it made me miss Kabul with it's poor air quality and campfire scent in the winter.  I miss toshaks.  I miss fondue.  I miss Swiss people.  Oh, and I was pregnant when this was taken.  That was one of my favorite shirts, I bought it in Jaipur, India. 
See what I mean?  Such a silly little photo that isn't of much, and I probably won't hang it above my mantle, but there are so many words. . . seriously, I could have kept going.
Or how about theses ones:

Great photo, huh?  This is on our way to Kabul.  This picture breathes excitement, unknown, and adventure.  And although it would look great in a cute little fame, it just looks like a picture of us with the Tower of Big Ben in the background.  I'd always want to explain the deeper meaning, the little part of our smile that isn't just posing for a sightseeing photo.  
This is the first time I held Aurelia.  She was so brand new, but almost a day old.  And she was just about to go in for her shunt surgery.  Can you tell I'd been crying?  I did a lot of crying in those early days.  There were too many tender moments.  
At this exact moment in life, I feel like the words that I'm writing don't fit the picture that is me.  That might sound a little sad, but it's not meant to be at all.  It's more that I don't feel like I can accurately describe where I am at right now in less than 1000 words.  I've written 5 unposted posts.  Posts about things I promised I'd never do before I was a mom (i.e. I'll never write a "mom blog". . . oops).  Posts about my second baby who is not so much a baby anymore.  Posts about living life, loving fall, learning lessons.  And you'll read those posts, I promise.  But I wanted to explain why I'm having trouble hitting publish.  I feel like life is full and happy.  I feel like I'm learning what it means to be an adult, a friend, a follower of Christ, a woman of prayer, a person who makes mistakes, a mother of two kids that are growing too fast, a wife to an amazing husband who sent me flowers to celebrate the start of my favorite season.  I feel like now that I'm in my 30s, it's about time I grew up.  And growing up is hard to put into words.  But I'm going to keep trying.  And if you read this little space of mine, I guess you're along for the ride.