Monday, September 24, 2007

Life's a dance, we learn as we go....

Hi there loyal readers,
Well, I am currently on cria watch, so I am pretty much Night of the Living dead these days. Not fully capable of functioning on a cerebral level. I thought I'd revamp an old post I did over a year ago when I first started blogging.
I really liked the premise behind the post, but thought I could do better. So, I managed to refresh it and here it is.
I hope you like it!

So I am just sitting here thinking about life. I know, I know, deep thoughts for such a... HEY!!! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ANYWAY?!?! I can read your mind you know.

Anywho- as you know, I love pictures. I hate being in front of the camera, but would hide behind one forever. That said, I don't scrapbook, or have a million photo albums and I have no idea where all my kid's baby pictures all are, I just know there are a lot of them. I like pictures. Taking them and looking at them.

I can go to a total stranger's house and spend hours looking through their photo albums. Weird? Maybe. But there is something very magical about photos. Did you know that in some cultures people believe that to take a picture of them means you are actually taking a part of their spirit? Like a part of their soul goes into the picture, never to come back into their body again. I have read stories about those same people thinking they were marked for death after someone has not respected that belief and taken a photo of them anyway. And of that person dying not long after.
How persuasive are beliefs.

Interesting to me..... when I was a child, I thought that pictures could "see" me. Like the photo was aware of what I was doing, saying, etc... and I would not have any photographs in my room. Paintings were fine, but only if they weren't of people. People in pictures, I was sure of this, moved at will when no one was looking. I spent long hours wondering where they went and what they did when I wasn't in the room. This was long before Harry Potter and the moving, seeing pictures portrayed there in, but when I first read the book it made perfect sense to me.

Two years ago I lost my best friend. She was a wonderful person, a mother of 5 children, wife of 26 years, and she died very suddenly. Jane was, to me, the perfect wife and mother. She made me want to be a better person, and her countenance was dazzling. I can't recall any time when she wasn't positive- even when times were rough. -- sigh-- there aren't words to adequately describe Jane and how special she really was...... She was in the hospital having a stint in her thigh removed- placed there to catch clots after vein surgery- and the doctor punctured her heart accidentally. This was the first time in medical history that this had happened.

When it came time for her funeral, there was a viewing.
I couldn't go.
simply. couldn't. go.

You see, I have a picture of Jane, and she is smiling. Smiling at me, every day... In those first few months when I fully expected her to walk in the door of the church we attend, when I picked up the phone to call her, before remembering that I couldn't do that anymore, I looked at her photograph, and my heart was lighter, even though it was still broken. I still miss Jane terribly, I still cry... although the dreams are less frequent of her waving at me and saying 'hi' like she is still here. This is how I will always remember her.

There is one picture I have of her playing a ring-around-the-rosy kind of game with a group of children. Her husband gave me that picture, and I thought it was a recent one. I found out though that it was taken almost 15 years ago. She looked exactly the same. Smiling, happy, radiant. I will remember her that way forever because of a photograph.

The power of photos is readily evident to me, for it seems in my life there has been much loss. Perhaps this is why photography has been so tightly linked to high emotion for me. When I was fifteen my 21 year old brother committed suicide. No one would talk about it with me, and I wasn't even allowed to attend the funeral. I had to deal with it on my own. To come to terms with the act, without any of the details or any explanation. My father couldn't even speak his name for years, and I do mean years afterwards. It was too painful for him. But here was I, wanting more..... So I cherished his last photo. He was smiling at me. He wasn't sad, or depressed, or on drugs or anything. He was just Jeff, smiling at me like he did when he was alive.
This is how I will remember him forever- because of a photograph.

This is not to say that all photos make me sad. I frequently look at a photo taken when my daughter, then only 2 1/2 years old, got caught inside a tomato cage. Cruelly, I made my husband keep her there while I ran for the camera. A priceless picture that makes me laugh every time I see it, the last time was just a few days ago, with Codi sitting next to me.

It invariably brings the evil eye on from my daughter who can't understand why I tortured her like that just for a picture. She doesn't get it- but she will when she has children of her own.

A picture I have of my son playing his guitar- such a handsome boy. At age 4 he got his first one for Christmas. He thought he would be able to pick up the guitar and play like Raffi on his first try. Little did he know as he was so discouraged after that first attempt he would become a virtual prodigy as a teen. Makes me fit to burst with pride and love. A picture of him with his face all screwed up in that impossible way only a one year old can while preparing to let loose a primal scream... I smile.

Wow, are those my kids? They are so beautiful!! Unbelievable that such children could come from me. Me who is so not perfect, and is actually very much lucky to be alive still. What a miracle.

One of me, in Hawaii in 1988. Young, and was I ever that thin??? I always thought I was fat and ugly. Wow, that was me. The lies planted in my heart at such a young age were truly that, just lies. I was beautiful.

One of my husband, in his leather jacket from Turkey, looking over the top of his glasses at me with that look... -- heart flutter -- back away girls, he's all mine :))

The problem is that some of us don't want to have our pictures taken. I am one of them, but I learned a most important lesson. See, we don't have a lot of pictures of my brother Jeff, and I only have a couple of my friend Jane. There are so many others I have lost and there aren't nearly enough pictures of them either.
Life is short, we are mortal, and the others in our lives go on without us.
I wish I had more....
We get old and cranky, we don't want our pictures taken and hide from the camera, we think it is not that important for crying out loud.
If I can't have more time with those I have loved, then I want more pictures.

So get out there and get in front of the camera. I don't care if you are fat, old, or have a mustache (um, that would be the female persuasion type I am referring to here) I need more pictures, and so do all your loved ones.
Life is short my friends, take lots of pictures, and share them with everyone you love.
Pictures are indeed magical. Perhaps a piece of us really does reside in certain pictures after they are taken. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that is true.
See you next time.
Slainte Mor~


Mousie said...

life is short my friends...but it's worth living, because one day your path may cross Rachelle's path...and that day will sure be a great one...
no, i must wipe my tears and tell you, i love you so very much, my family from far away.and your photo is gorgeous..
you're great ones two or four legged ones...
see you
ps: if you still want to change your template click on my name, that's the working blog!!!!

Rachelle Black said...

You my dear Mousie, are a treasure.
Those who know you are truly blessed by your sweetness, and I am glad I got to meet you.
Take care my friend!

Gattina said...

You are absolutely right about photos. I only discovered my love for taking pictures last year when I saw the digital once so easy to handle and now I take pictures all the time. I just came back from a tour through Turkey and yes it's true some people, mostly in the country side, are believing that you take their soals away. In arabic countries too. But with a little money suddenly they don't loose their soals anymore ! lol

Rachelle Black said...

Someday I hope to travel and visit so many places. My in-laws lived in Turkey for many years as my husband's father worked for a major engineering company. They absolutely loved it, and still go back and visit the many friends they made over the years.
I really, really want to go to Ireland- seeing as my ancestry is there it would be a wonderful journey :))
Take good care,

QuillDancer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Wat a luvly post!

I will mayke shor my Mummy reeds it, cos she always hides from the camra.

She thort the same as yu- wen she waz yunger she thort she waz ugly an frumpy an fat. But wen she looks at herself now she sez, "No I wassent! If ownly I'd known at the time! I waz pritty!"

Now she sez that she iz fat an old an ugly an duzzent want her foto tayken. But we tell her, yu will look bak agen in another 15 yeers, an say the sayme- no I wassent, wy dident I kno at the time?

It's her 40th berfday in November an I'm goin to get her a big cayke an tayke her pikcher for my blog. Jus yu wayte!


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Oh, an by the way, thank cu fer poppin by! Grayum iz bak now. - Now THERE'S a Bear hoo issent camra shy!

david mcmahon said...

How wonderful to see an update on this wonderful blog, Rachelle.

I'm with you: the power of photographs in an album is something that cannot be described.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh Rachell, you are a powerful writer, my friend. What a beautiful, touching and important post. You are so right. One of the reasons I carry my camera every day is because I'm compelled to keep a record of those I love around me. Life is so fragile, photo's capture frozen moments in time, precious memories we can only live once, but remember forever. ((x))

just me said...

Wonderful, and heartfelt post. I have my own superstitions about photographs. And each one is a cherished living memory, isn't it?

karoline said...

what a wonderful piece very true..beautiful!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful recycled/updated post.

I have a friend who loves going through my family's photo albums. She doesn't even know half the people.

Share those photos, you never know who will get pleasure from the memories.

silfiriel said...

must I even say "that was a sad story"? the "why" haunts me some nights, I hate it.

silfiriel said...

a brighter subject would be though: how's that book going on Rachelle?

WalksFarWoman said...

Rachelle, you brought a tear to my eye, that post was so moving, so obviously written from the heart. I applaud David and his magnificent choice - and for leading us up the path to your door. You are one heck of a writer and an inspirational thinker.

dawn said...

This is a beautiful post Rachelle, I felt every part of it which shows what a wonderful writer you are. i haven't read something so true in a very long time, Thanks

Rachelle said...

Dear B.T.,
I think your mummy and I must be related!
Please tell her she is thin, and beautiful, and I will be 43 tomorrow, so I am older and know these things :))

You are a good little bear to love your mummy so!
Thank you for stopping by!

Rachelle said...

Dear David,
Thank you so much my friend!
And thanks for the post of the day nod, it is greatly appreciated :))
I love your blog, I meet so many new friends through it!
Thank you!

Rachelle said...

Dear Carol,
Well, I sit every day at the feet of a master of writing, (in case you are scratching your head, that's you silly) some of it has to rub off occasionally on me, right? LOL!
So glad you are back Shrink!

Rachelle said...

Dear just me,
Why thank you very much my dear!
I am honored to see you here, and am going to pop over to pay you a visit right now!
Take good care, and hope to see you again soon!

Rachelle said...

Dear Karoline,
Thanks my sweet!
I haven't been to your place in a while, I'm on my way over for a mini vaca, kay? :))

Rachelle said...

Dear Chewy,
Well, you are creating a legacy of another kind with your beautiful art!
I wish I could get the things in my head to be able to come out of my fingers like you do...
*green with envy* :))
I'm coming over, put on a pot of hot chocolate, okay?

Rachelle said...

Dear Slavco,
I have been in a sort of blue funk these days, I think when you are in a great deal of pain for an extended period of time it affects your emotions.
I felt as I was writing it though, that ultimately I wanted to impart the importance of enjoying the moment, and not getting all caught up in the "I'm too fat/ugly/dressed like a monkey" syndrome that sucks all the fun out of living IN the moment, ya know?
I'll have a funny story soon, okay? :))

Ps.... what book my dear? Am I having a senior moment? Who are you, and why am I sitting here in my underwear....??

Rachelle said...

Dear Walks Far Woman,
Thank you!
I very much enjoyed your site when I visited, you are a true writer, and I appreciate your comments.
I look forward to visiting you again soon!

Rachelle said...

Dear Dawn,
Wow, you have been a busy, busy girl! I HATE moving...
Here's a hug for you, and hope things settle down for you in the near future!
And thank you for the kind words :))

silfiriel said...

Are you kidding me? The one that's going to be a bestseller! You've got the talent, a style, ok getting a publisher is a little tricky but you'll cross that bridge when you come to it ;)
Although you might not have the capacity to write a good book.
It'll probably be boring. (I'm trying out the reverse psychology trick:))

phaseoutgirl said...

Oh Rachelle,

It has been awhile since I have come across... but here I am am!

I lived with photograhps. My maternal grandfather was a photographer, he had a photo studio and used to do portraits. I used to skulk in the darkrooms and see the "magic" beign created on photo paper (at least this is what I thought when I was a child!).

I have an old photo album of my late aunt, and it holds the most wonderful memories: my grandmother when she was young, my father and his brother ans sisters when they were little, my grandparents at a much younger age, and even pictures of me and my cousins when we were small kids! I cherish this album it is quite old and tattered, but I love it with all my heart since it brings back my family to me....


Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Just wanted to come back in to give you a hug, bonny lass. Special lady, you are. x

sandykessler said...

Singleton linked me to you because of your alpacas and my love for them..Then I read this exceptional post on how we handle death . My cousin paSSED fRIDAY . iT'S SO TRUE OF THE LOVE WE HAVE AND THAT PICTURE. sOMETIMES IT ROBS US OF THAT. I only go to the Life Celebrations..May I link to you??Sandy Kessler. You are welcome at Daisyville anytime and link if you

Casdok said...

A lovely post

Rachelle said...

Dear Cecilia,
I have missed you my friend!
I hope that life has settled down for you a bit, and that you are all rested from your travels.
I always wanted a dark room, but now everything is digital, so I just shoot, and shoot and have dozens of discs!

Rachelle said...

Dear Sandy,
Welcome! I am very glad to see you here.
Certainly you may link me, I would be honored.
Yup, you got alpaca fever, dontcha?
Come back and see the latest arrival!
See you soon,

Rachelle said...

Hi Shrinky! :))
Love you too girl.

Rachelle said...

Dear Casdok,
Thank you for visiting!
I hope you will be back, and have a lovely Sunday!

Anonymous said...