What do you see?

I have been noticing all the judgement out there because of photographs. Some are of toddlers eating a cookie, others are of someone posing arms outstretched, smiling on their holiday. Photos can tell so much, but sometimes the story is concealed. I have been dismayed by those judged and blasted on social media because of a photo. The cookie was controversial; another photo was blasted because someone you don’t get along with was in the picture. The list goes on. I have only had one set of photos done professionally, when my daughter was 18 months of age. They tell a story but not in its entirety. They don’t tell of the events leading up to them being taken, nor of  how sick I would get shortly afterward.

In the following pictures, I look polished. I wonder what they speak of? Let me take you behind the scene. I had lost one of my best friend’s, and limped into the new year. I was planning on home schooling my daughter and wondered if I could do it. I felt like rubbish. Deflated and plunging into depression. I hadn’t had my hair done at a hairdresser’s in a very long time. On the eve of the new school year, I ventured into a salon on a whim. Yes, they could fit me in. I asked for my long splintered hair to be shorn, and colour to be put through. “Do you want a quote before we start?” I was asked. I thought, ‘gee, if I need a quote, this is gonna be expensive!’ “That would be lovely,” I smiled. $270 was the quote! I opted to just have my hair shorn, and purchase a bottle of $6 violet dye afterward. I had just heard that a dear friend had been diagnosed with cancer, and another with a compromised liver. As the locks fell, I felt myself come out of my melancholic cocoon. I had to be strong for them, for myself, my daughter and our new venture. When I was done, I was delighted. I felt free of memories, pain and 2014… I knew I would never be able to replicate the blow dry I received in the salon, and so I took a series of pics with my phone. There was no posing, no professional photography. Just me. A facet of who I am. So, next time you see the holiday pics, the pictures on a blog, or on the web, remember that all is not as it seems. There is more than one facet to a diamond. So it is with people. I bet that toddler doesn’t eat cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and did you know that the smiling lady in the holiday snap has just completed treatment for cancer? A photo tells a story, though can’t include all the books in a person’s library. This haircut helped me regroup, as silly as it may sound. I gathered  the detritus of 2014, and continued on my way into 2015. Ask what was happening in a person’s life at the time  a photo was taken. It is an important question, and the person will be glad you cared enough to hear the back-story.

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