2 a : a description so vivid or graphic as to suggest a mental image or give an accurate idea of something (the book gives a detailed picture of what is happening) b : a mental image
Some friends were talking today about how they feel about pictures. One has an extended family portrait scheduled over the Thanksgiving holidays and while she loves pictures of her kids, she doesn't like to be photographed herself. Another shared that she wants pictures taken of her because she envisions her own death and wants her children to be able to remember her. I've talked before about how I don't like photographs. They ruin my own memory. Because once I've seen the photographic evidence of an event, my own memory of it is, sadly, erased.
For example, I felt like I looked great at my brother-in-law's wedding two and a half years ago.... until I saw the photographs. A very capable and excellent photographer clearly showed that I looked terrible. I was laughing, talking or gesturing in every single photograph. This may have been partly due to the fact that my three children (and husband!) were also in the wedding. So I had a bit on my mind. But I'll now forever believe that I looked harried the entire wedding instead of sleek and sophisticated, which is more of what I was going for.
I was thinking today on my way home about my friend who wants photos of her taken so that her children can remember her and it occurred to me that a picture can never capture what I want my children to remember.
A picture can't show how I loved K this morning:
Me, from upstairs: "K, are you dressed for school?"And I rubbed her back while she laid in bed and enjoyed it. And we talked about the day that was coming and about school and about life. No picture can capture that.
K: "No. I want you to rub my back."
Me: "Are you still in bed?" (thinking to myself, 'your sisters have been awake for nearly an hour!)
K: "Yes. Will you rub my back?"
Me, coming down the stairs: "Sure, honey."
A picture can't show what I am thinking and feeling as I watch A dance. It can't tell that I am amazed, astonished, captivated and proud that a daughter of mine can do what she does. She not only dances, she brings joy to others, she bares her soul in front of strangers. I can take a picture of her dancing, but it won't show her when I'm dead how much I loved watching her dance.
And a picture can't capture what I feel about B. A picture can't show the mixture of connection I feel to her, the inspiration I get from her, the push I feel from her to be a better me. If she's using all that she is and doing all that she does, can't I do more? But how would you take a picture of this? How could a still image of me with her ever convey how much I love her? It simply can't.
And these words can't either. But, to my mind, they come a bit closer.