Thursday, January 22, 2015

Captioned and Captured

The weekly reckoning...
1237. An Icee, left in the freezer and forgotten, then discovered and eaten with a spoon
1238. Getting the kitchen cleaned and the dishes washed
1239. Walking at the park all-four-together after he got off
1240. A haircut - I was long overdue
1241. The Boba hoodie
1242. Finishing last Sunday's podcast before the next Sunday
1243. Going to bed early two night in a row, while Adam took first shift with Tobin
1244. Carry-out and a microwave, for when Needs arise and I don't get to finish my meal out
1245. TED talk podcasts from NPR
1246. Warmer weather over the weekend, and predicted for the week to come
1247. Brooklyn blowing a goodbye kiss to her grandma Sandy (I've been trying to teach her that for awhile)
1248. Whoever first thought to put a camera on a cell phone
1249. Carefully curated shelves of books, for when the library isn't feasible
1250. An encouragingly productive day
1251. Walking at the park just-us-three (it took the stroller and the Moby, but we did it!)
1252. Tobin only waking up once in the night
1253. The phoneography set Adam got me arriving in the mail sooner than expected, and actually being in the postbox so I didn't have to go pick it up
1254. Brooklyn standing on a box next to the couch so she would be tall enough to lean over the arm and give me a kiss

I love to take pictures... sometimes. I had thought that I tend to only take pictures when I'm happy, but I realized recently that that's not entirely accurate - I take pictures when I'm grateful. The lens of a camera brings me a clearer perspective of the blessings that surround me.

The sensical part of me, however suppressed (and I mean "suppressed" in the Alice in Wonderland sense - put in a sack and sat upon) by entitlement in moments of selfishness and self pity, knows that God is good and His mercies are new every morning. But in the heat of a difficult moment, I struggle to remember that. And that's where the pictures come in.

Writing down gifts is a wonderful tool for memory - but the visual is stronger than the jotted-down (like, those tricks for remembering names and things that involve associating a mental image with it, usually something strange and unusual). The ordinary so often slips past us, unnoticed, but the extraordinary stands out - it captures our attention, our imagination, and our memory. The beautiful and grotesque alike are infused with wonder.

But when I stop to take a picture or number a gift, however commonplace that thing might have been before, it becomes memorable because the time was taken to perceive it so. And when memory fails, the graphic evidence remains - the journals and albums that rise up, light dawning on my valley of shadow, as an answer to the question, "Where is goodness, and where is God?"

Our memories and emotions play us false so often - what helps you remember the good when everything seems bad?

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