Friday, January 3, 2014

A Picture's Worth

This is my family.*
This picture was taken on Christmas morning and promptly posted to Facebook.

This picture possibly received more 'likes' and positive comments than anything else I've posted.

"Beautiful picture."
"Blessed family."

And each such comment causes me to snicker cynically.

Sorry, folks.  Just trying to be honest here.

They say, "a picture's worth a thousand words," and I can go along with that, but what does this particular one really say?

To me, it says that having us all in one room, so close together, all smiling so gleefully is an astonishing feat.  But then, I'm reading it with a bias ... as one who knows the back-story.

I happen to know how much anger and disappointment and hurt and frustration and dysfunction is contained within this frame.  I know how hard a year it's been, how hard it's been to bring us all together, how hard it is for us to smile when we're all in one room.

Sorry, folks.  Like I said...

However, believe it or not, this is not a pity party.  This is not me telling you how bad things are around here.  This is me pointing out that things are not always as they seem.  For all the "perfection" that a picture can portray, there is always something behind the scenes.  Something you don't see.  Something you can't know unless someone tells you.

What I'm telling you is that my family is not perfect.

And - if I believe what I say, that things are not always as they seem - then even I can view this through another lens:

  • Four healthy g'babies have been born and all remain members of our family
  • We've grafted in a couple of sons and another g'babe
  • One of us has survived a heart attack
  • An antidepressant is working for at least one of us
  • Each of us is still here
  • None of us have been to jail
  • Okay, at least not lately
  • Okay, at least not for more than a few minutes

There's good here even if there is some bad behind the scene.
It really is a beautiful picture.  We really are blessed.
I think I'll focus on that!

Some folks might say I've used this for some kind of divine photo op.  Okay.  Maybe.
Some might say that I'm hanging all my laundry in the yard.
Okay.  Maybe some of it.

But what I mean to be is telling you to look very closely and consider very deeply everything you see in life.

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." John Lubbock

*I have folks and a sister and a niece who reside elsewhere.  And cousins, and in-laws, and, well, more family than is pictured here.
*Also, that blur at the bottom of the picture is my cat.

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