Monday, November 19, 2012
PHOTOS-TO CRINGE OR NOT TO CRINGE
It's that wonderful time of year. Family gatherings, parties, and someone always snapping pictures.
I cringe at having my picture taken, especially now that so many photos get posted on Facebook, blogs, etc. It seems like I'm always doing something ugly when candid photos are snapped. Hair weird, mouth open, eyes closed, sitting like a guy, eating, face tucked in, triple chins billowing, bent over. You name it. Even if the picture is expected and I'm posing, it takes several shots to get what I consider a half way good shot. I am fat and middle-aged (if I live to be well past 100) and usually when I see the posed-for picture, or especially a candid shot, it is like a bucket of cold water in the the face. Reality, is not always pretty.
It's bad enough that's how I will look frozen in time forever, or as long as the photo exists, but it's possible with our technology that hundreds and hundreds of people, that I don't even know will see the picture. I suppose that it is a good thing that they don't know me, nor I them. But wait a minute. What if I avoided all attempts of anyone taking pictures of me?
It dawned on me after seeing some particularly unflattering pics of myself that had been posted on Facebook, that these are images that my kids, grandkid(s), and others on down through time will remember me by. YIKES. What will they be thinking? How fat I was, I was always talking, what was with that hair? However, I believe and hope, that other things will be in their mind. They will be remembering their own favorite fun times with me and the occasion of the photo. Hopefully, they will see smiles and laughter and how much I loved them. Maybe they will remember how it felt when I hugged them. I hope they remember good times and most of all love.
This all came to mind when I found the treasured picture shown at the beginning of this post. That is my Grandma and Sister. They are both gone now. From her clothing, it looks like sitting in the edge of the creek must have been a spur of the moment decision. My Grandma was a down-to-earth woman. She was the best cook I ever knew. She outworked everyone, cooking on a wood stove, gardening, making butter. She was not a fashion plate. But look at how happy my sister is to be with her. See the look of pure joy on Grandma's face. When the picture was taken, Grandma was living in the moment. Feeling the joy. That moment is still present, so many years later, every time I look at this picture. Can't you just feel that cold creek water and the slippery rocks at their feet? I now know how she felt as her grandchild beamed love at her. I remember how my sister and I loved Grandma. Everyone did.
For now, I have decided to quit worrying about how I look in pics. I hope maybe someone will capture, for all time, a picture of me living in the moment and loving it.