Because the fall colors have been so glorious, I was carrying my camera with me to work and to church in case I should see something I had to shoot. Last Sunday, I was driving home from church with my camera on the front seat beside me. I suddenly had to step on the brake and the camera fell off the seat. The next picture I tried to take, the lens wouldn’t focus. 🙁 I have seen all sorts of things since that I would have loved to photograph and share with you, but I can’t. Therefore, I haven’t written.
I was having a phone conversation with my son this afternoon and I asked him why he never takes pictures and sends them to me anymore. He’s a gifted photographer. He told me that he began to realize he was so busy looking for good shots that he wasn’t experiencing the moment, so he gave it up. I was able to relate because I sometimes feel like I see the world through my lens and don’t participate in it. But on the other hand, I take pictures to share them with you and thus have a shared experience with you, a means to a relationship. Without my camera, I feel at a loss. What have I to say now?
I realize there have been times I’ve written and haven’t used a single photo, but I always knew I had that option if I wanted it. Another thing about photos is that many of you responded to the pictures. Jamey asked me what kind of responses I usually get and I said, “Usually people tell me they like the photos or that I’m a good photographer, but every once in a while, someone will tell me what their reaction is to the photo, and those are the responses I enjoy most.” I told him that I have a friend who grew up in Wisconsin and sometimes tells me that my photos make her a little nostalgic. Some of my photos evoke other types of reactions: Horror, LOL’s, shared experiences, etc. This is a form of communication for me.
Since my sister’s death, I have been spending a lot of time focusing on communication. I’ve been reading a couple books I took from her bookshelf when Mark brought me back home. One is called Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. This book, by Lysa TerKeurst, mostly has to do with getting one’s love and acceptance from God when it isn’t forthcoming from those you most want it from, but there is a section I read to Jamey about forms of communication that set aside “should” and “could” and instead focus on “Me too” and “You DO belong”. The other book I’m reading is called Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I’m reading this book because my sister, Sherill, used to have to explain Jamey and me to each other, and now that she’s gone, we are working on learning to communicate directly to each other without crossing any boundaries.
You would think that a person who writes as prolifically as I do would be an expert communicator, but in a face to face situation, I sometimes get tongue tied. I am known to talk slowly and, every now and then, haltingly. Occasionally, something inside me that has been wounded reacts inappropriately to something someone says. Something gets triggered and my imagination carries me away where reality never meant to send me.
This is probably the most deeply personal stuff I’ve shared with many of you, a part of what goes on inside my head. I have been thinking a lot of deep things since my sister’s death. So what I want to know is, can you say “Me too” to any of this? Do we all belong to the same group of fallible humanity?