the daily eulogy
(originally posted 2/19/2019)
I don’t think we pay enough attention when we’re hanging pictures.
Sometimes we just throw them up with no reverence at all. Things that might be sitting there for ten or twenty years looking down on us.
I don’t think we pay enough attention to the people in those pictures. People who one day might not be with us at all.
They are usually smiling and happy and that’s what we’ll want to remember when they are gone. Most of the time we’re not in the picture with them and sometimes when they’re gone we wish that we’d have been in more pictures with them.
It’s funny, we usually pay a lot more attention to the artwork we put in our house than we do the pictures.
If you think I’m trying to get to a point you’re right, I’m just not exactly sure what it is.
We move a colorful painting or print around a dozen times before deciding its final resting place. It has to look just right. It’s saying something about the room.
It’s saying something about us. Who we really are. What we want to feel. What moves us. Or at least what we want the people standing in front of it to think who we are and what moves us.
These people in our pictures, we and they and every combination of each, have moved dozens of times and sometimes it ends with us standing over their final resting place. And each time we move we throw up our pictures willy nilly and then labor over where our expressionist camel with wings flying over an unknown town will go.
What does that say about us? Who we really are. Who we care about. Who has cared about us.
And when they’re gone they’re gone and all that’s left are our pictures.
So we hold them in our hands every now and then and cry and say “I miss you” out loud in front of clearly unimpressed expressionist camel.
Our artwork is bigger than our pictures. It usually features more prominently in our homes.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s good that we take the time to make sure our camels are level and the light is hitting them just right while our pictures gather dust. Maybe that’s what keeps us sane.
Maybe the word ‘maybe’ is a cop-out, but maybe (just the same) it’s better we care more about what we want to feel right now than snippets of time that we scatter around the house (as reminders?).
Either way, I miss you.