For the past few months, words and pictures have been beyond my grasp. Prior to this creative void, I would see pictures in every day life that would conjure up words in my mind, creating yet a totally different picture that I was excited to express and to share. Conversely, a certain word or words would create a picture in my mind I couldn’t wait to describe, hoping to encourage and inspire perceptions unique to each person. But for the past few months, this was all on pause. I dare say, on mute. Unsure, and at times bothered by my lack of inspiration, I didn’t force myself with self-imposed shoulds or deadlines. I figured it would happen organically.
And it did. Tonight I went to see the movie Words and Pictures. While it received a mere 39% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, it was personally recommended to me as worthwhile, which I often find more accurate than many of the movie ‘mavens.’ This was one of those instances. While one driving force of the movie is the dynamic sexual tension between the two main characters, the predominant issue is the debate between words and pictures: which has the most impact? It is this question that appears to be the pilot light igniting my butt back to my laptop with an entirely new view of things. Tonight, words that have been lying dormant are now percolating in my mind.
The picture of my world has changed in many ways since I last wrote. I am metaphorically sitting in the middle of a clean canvas surrounded literally by a new frame. For the first time in over 30 years, I am living alone. At this very moment I am sitting on my balcony (albeit in a blue fold out chair with cup holders which will one day grow up to be nice patio furniture) of my own place, looking up at the stars, sipping a glass of Chardonnay I picked up on sale at World Market. Or as I still call it, Cost Plus. It’s a balmy night, and the only light is from the full moon, a few blurry stars, and my computer illuminating back to me once again, that which I am thinking and experiencing.
Since I last wrote, I also lost someone very near and dear who had been in my life for over 30 years. Mirk’s quick wit, and puns were unmatched. The sparkle in his voice and in his eyes always made me feel so very, very special and loved. I love him and will miss him so very much.
My children are approaching and accomplishing milestones with tremendous stride, confidence, and grace. I am realizing that sometimes I won’t be able to be there for all of these moments the way I want to be, the way I used to be. This is not easy.
Words cannot adequately describe how it feels when the picture of our life as we knew it changes, and how it feels to experience the tug and the pull of those moving pieces. But the truth is, we wouldn’t want our life’s picture to remain stagnant.
As I unpack picture after picture of what my life used to look like, I feel pangs in my chest missing what was, but at the same time I am looking forward to what will be. While we usually can’t see clearly what will come next, I believe we need to trust that we are where we need to be, and not force anything. Take chances, think outside the frame, and enjoy what time we have on this canvas of life.
Which has the most impact, words or pictures? I think together they are more simpatico than adversarial. Just like change and life. If we allow them to work together, the possibilities are endless.
I’ll be writing again sooner, rather than later…