Sometimes a song lyric can stop me in my tracks. The song Jolene, by The Zac Brown Band, is about a guy who lost the woman he loves – his whole life really - to cocaine addiction. In that song these lyrics flatten me:
“A picture of you holding a picture of me in the pocket of my blue jeans…”
The poor couple in this song can’t even get together in the same place long enough to have their picture taken with each other, no wonder they can’t make the relationship work (well, that and the cocaine…) So sad.
I remember when I was a kid during the Vietnam War my young, newly married aunt would sit on my grandmother’s front porch to write letters to her new husband who was somewhere ‘out there’ fighting a war. My aunt wrote to him several times a week on super thin airmail paper called Onion Skin. And every single time she did, she would bring out an 8x10 framed photo of him in his uniform to set by her on the step as she wrote.
My picture that’s worth a thousand words was taken right after my daughter became a mother. In the picture there’s new baby paraphernalia taking up all the surrounding space, but in the center of the photo is my daughter, now a new mommy, sleeping on the couch with her hand in the bassinette. Even in her sleep, she is protective of her baby. And lying at her feet? Well that’s her buddy Gus, who is the self-appointed protector of his owner and gladly accepts the job of protecting her new babe, too. I thank my son-in-law for seeing the beauty in this moment and capturing it.
What is your picture of? Is it a picture in your mind, a memory? Or is it one you can hold in your hands? Both are worth a thousand words.