We’ve all heard the quote: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Yes, and aren’t we lucky that we have them? Pictures, I mean. Just yesterday, I was hanging the last of ours in our new townhouse. What started out as a twenty minute task turned into a four-hour love fest. Not only did I hang all the family pictures that remained to be hung, but I also printed out another half dozen from my computer, which eventually were framed and hung alongside the others on our new “Family Wall.”
In this day and age of sophisticated cell phones, which are judged more by their prowess as cameras than as phone instruments, it is easy to see why so much importance has been placed on the former. Kodak (remember them?) used to make millions reminding us how their cameras were for saving “the times of your life.” How right they were! Snapshots are, and always will be, essential for capturing those moments in our lives that might have seemed insignificant at the time, but prove to be considerably more important as time marches on. And that goes for paintings, as well. In most cases, a painting is purchased while on vacation, or for a special occasion. They, too, tell stories as only they can.
When we moved recently, the one thing we refused to part with were our pictures. We sold (or gave away) many things: bicycles, golf clubs, a treadmill—even my bathrobe (I’m guessing it’s still hanging on the back of my old bathroom door). The pictures, however, were bubble-wrapped and protected (as any treasures ought to be) and then put in storage—because we didn’t finish packing them in time for the movers to take them. Now, to be fair, I’m talking not only about our snapshots, of which there were four full boxes, but our artwork as well. At the time, it didn’t seem like a big deal. But we were wrong. It quickly became evident that a house is not a home without pictures.
So, for four full weeks we toiled away in our new “house,” unpacking, rediscovering, and arranging all of our belongings. But something was missing. Becky actually awoke one morning thinking she was in a hotel; that’s how little our surroundings resembled a real “home.” We wanted—no, needed—our “stuff.” Specifically, we needed our pictures. Eventually, we arranged to have our remaining possessions collected from storage and delivered to our new house. Within three days, I had unpacked and hung all of our artwork and most of our family pictures. Slowly, we breathed a collective sigh of relief as, little by little, our house at last became our home once again.
Now, our grandmothers and grandfathers live again. Our aunts and uncles also have new life. Our cats and dogs have been resurrected and revived, and baby pictures remind us of what it was like to have a new visitor enter our lives. Through our pictures we have once again been made whole, our spirits elevated to a point higher than before. Wouldn’t it be sad if we had just forgotten all about them, and left them behind? What would have become of our memories? Those special times of our lives? Because, after all, a picture is worth . . . everything!
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