Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Picture Perfect

I spent the weekend in Independence with my Business Women of Missouri sisters. This year, I had the pleasure of taking the “official” photos for the group. I’ve taken the “unofficial” photos for several years. As usual, I got a little carried away and took more than five hundred photos. Well, now, that makes the selection process a little bit harder.

The most fun was taking group photos in front of the fireplace. My goal was to get the best and most flattering photos possible, so I borrowed a stepladder from the hotel. It was a little wobbly, but in true sisterly fashion, my friend Ann offered to steady the ladder. I knew the photo shoot was successful when one woman commented that I made the photo shoot “fun.” I enjoyed taking the photos and didn’t want to stress out this time because they were counting on me.

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos even when I had to send the film off to have it developed. I can remember how looking at the photos made me feel. Sometimes I was disappointed that the photo fell short of my expectations, and other times I took a little too much pride in how well I’d captured a moment.

My professional photographer friend Randy says good photography is about having an eye for the best shot, but mostly it’s about timing. Since the majority of my photos are sunsets, I’ve learned that timing is crucial. A little too soon and the sky isn’t colorful. A little too late and the sky turns to a shade of drab grey.

Yes, it is possible to take a beautiful photo of some not so beautiful moments, or maybe blurry photos of a peaceful, happy moment. Photos capture the stillness of a moment and can bring back the emotions we felt inside at that exact time. Smiles may hide a troubled heart, and others might look at the same photo and misunderstand the image.

Our memories are much like photos or short movie clips. From a distance, the past may be out of focus, and open to interpretation. How many times have you done something that mortified you, but years later that became one of the funny stories you tell? Yeah, me too!

On the flipside, we mull the could have, should haves. That would be those times we wronged another or made a mistake that had horrible consequences. To sin means to fall short of the mark, and we’ve all sinned. Even when others forgive us, we may never forgive ourselves.

The hardest thing I ever did in my life was to be a caregiver. I’d like to say that I was perfect in my role, but I wasn’t. In the still of the night, I try to convince myself that I did more things right than I did wrong, but why do the wrongs weigh so much heavier on my heart? It is easier for me to tell another caregiver to be forgiving of his or her mistakes than to heed my own advice.

We are only human. As much as we might admire the abilities of a superhero, they are fictional characters and we are not. We are the stars of our own reality show—and our own worst critic.

Nobody’s life is picture perfect, although we may look that way in photos. We each have faults, regrets, and imperfections too numerous to mention. Living doesn’t have the flat smooth surface of a photo. Living has depth, rough patches, pitfalls, and chasms. Life is messy, but it does have warmth, love, and a human touch that cannot be found in the most perfect photo.

Copyright © April 2018 by L.S. Fisher

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