I used to hate photos.
I used to see haunting reminders,
on my walls,
Snap shots of moments that have come and gone,
in the picture frame for me to see
I used to hate that. I used to
Yet I could never really get rid of
the thing that was already gone.
Take it down. Take it down.
Take it down.
Remove it now.
smiles frozen, eyes unblinking.
I think I used to keep the photos that I hated so much because
I wanted that back.
I wanted that moment to be real
like it was before.
I’d leave them hanging there, those pictures
of my old friends next to
my old self.
Secretly wanting to jump into
the print that was 4×6.
Photos don’t work that way though,
just the books in Blues Clues.
Oh I used to want
so very badly
to live again in the years past of my electronic albums
marked with holidays, vacations, and
It used to haunt me
that the only tangible thing
from that memory was
a flat piece of imagery.
square or rectangular
reminder of the way things
used to be.
Just look at it. That’s all
I could do.
I wanted to smell
the salt in the air from
I wanted to hear
the laughter at
I wanted to feel
the warmth of
wrapped around me.
With pictures, I could only stare and
I hated my single sense experience.
Well, I used too hate that.
Now I see differently.
The thing about photographs is,
they’re only a moment and
so much happens
before and after.
It’s a blessing to have
a single shot of anything
that depicts something half way to possible perfection
when every single one of us
is so deeply flawed.
Photos themselves are painfully flat.
Static characters in the deep, ever-changing, well-rounded novel that is our lives.
A photo just isn’t capable of capturing everything that’s worth remembering.
Good photos make us sad because we think about now and
how it got so very bad.
Bad photos makes us glad that we never have to go back but
we forget how much we learned and
the wealth that those
wretched experiences add.
A picture just cannot say
that everything before, during, and after the
is still helping
to fill the holes in our souls.
That is why it’s different for me now.
These flat slivers of memories
that I am newly glad to keep,
tell me that although it is not the whole story,
it is a very important piece.
I think what I’ve learned from
staring at these photographs,
is to appreciate
that momentary bliss.
There’s proof in them that
I now see, even if it was
only for a heartbeat, everything was just as it should be.