21 October 2011

What Tells of a Life?

I have been sorting through photos of my recent European adventure over the last week. A co-worker insisted that I put together a slide-show and do a "brown bag" lunch for a small group. I would have resisted but this is also the same co-worker who arranged free lodging with extended relatives in Krakow and lent me two camera lenses for the trip. I could hardly refuse such a simple request after all he had done for me.

The trouble is, I took pictures through my point of view, with my interests in mind, we all do. But as I sort through my 1700 photos I realize what interests me probably isn't very entertaining for others. Photos of my friends, who mean nothing to my co-workers.  Lots of doors and architectural details, kinda geeky. Photos of places that I want to remember for the memories they trigger, but objects that are not too special in their own right (the clock at Ceska for example). I take some fairly random pictures too. I am not very pleased with the bulk of the photos - bad composition, poor lighting, lack of focus. So that eliminated quite a few photos right there, but there should be enough remaining to get through a lunch show n' tell.

In the sorting and sifting I noticed another category of photos that I tend to snap, they are some of my favorites, photos that show life. Faces, hands - the signs of life lived. Pictures taken on the sly.

While on the tram I look down at a woman's hand holding her bag of produce and admire its wrinkled speckled beauty. Noticing the large knuckles and slight deformity, I wonder what has caused it. Perhaps it is rheumatoid arthritis, maybe my hands will look like this in 30 years. What have these hands seen and done? How many potatoes have they peeled? Whose hands have they held? What stories can this woman tell?

These gentlemen intrigued me. The lines on their faces, the dapper hair, the style of clothes. How much have they seen? Have they had trouble negotiating the transition from Communism to Democracy? Are they among the ranks that long for the 'good ol' days'? What yarns could these men spin?

And there are several more photos that I wish I could hear the stories behind the lives represented in the images. But what tells the story of a life? The lines on a face? The scars and marks that remain? What do people think of my life when they look at me? What will they think in 30 years? In 50 years? Can I cultivate a life that creases my cheeks and etches signs of love and joy so that people will look at me and think 'she lives life well.'

Proverbs 27:19 "As water reflects the face, 
   so one’s life reflects the heart."  

And what is in your heart will be reflected on your face. So what does your face say about you? Is it an accurate reflection of your heart? What do you want it to say?

Curious to see more? I uploaded all of my photos (and I do mean all) to Flickr.  I will start to weed out the ridiculous, eventually. For a more condensed overview, check out the slideshow I put together for the brown bag at work. 

No comments: