Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: Photograph memory
By Elizabeth White
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They are a memory…
The first photo is of my best friend from high school. She is sitting on her bed; the countless photos and drawings with which she had decorated her wall are displayed within the background. She holds her toy bunny, pink, with a bow around its neck and showing the signs of love well beyond its short life of only a few weeks. Nicknamed, "Her", after a special mutual friend, the bunny had been a gift from me to my friend a few weeks earlier. However, what stands out the most in this memory is the expression on the face of my friend. She was not smiling. Her expression displayed truth and honesty; it displayed some of what she had been going through, it displayed pain well beyond her years, things she should never have had to experience. It was her fifteenth birthday…
It is a memory…
The scene of the second photo took place at my sister’s wedding. Out of the countless photographs that were taken that day, this one alone seemed to display real truth and honesty. This photo alone displayed a small piece of what had happened within my family over the preceding three months before the event, and, as I would later learn, what would continue to cause a brokenness for many years to come. Rejected by my mother, this was the photo which I cherished in secret, because it was real. There were six people in that photo. Five of them were smiling. In the centre of the photo stood my sister and her husband, both displaying their happiness for the day that they would both cherish for many years to come. To the right stood my sister’s new parents in law, whose faces also clearly displayed their joyful emotions for this moment. On the left, next to my sister, stood my father, his smile showing how proud he was of his eldest daughter, and next to him, my mother. For the first time that day, my mother’s expression betrayed her mask of make-up. For the first time she was honest. That photo was taken almost two years ago. My mother and my sister have not spoken since. This photo I both love and hate. I love it because it is real, and I hate it because it displays something which I am not sure I want to be reminded of...
It is a memory...
The reporters photograph the famous sportsman while he wonders if his life would have had more meaning without the fame.
The police photograph the suicide seen of a young teenage girl while friends and family will forever wonder what might have been if they hadn’t been too late.
A funeral is photographed, a lonely grandmother, while her grandchildren regret the countless times they never took the chance to visit.
The social worker photographs a neglected young child, while years later that same child wonders where her life would be had she not experienced the abuse she had.
Two friends, hugging one another, having just graduated from high school, remember the argument which tore them apart and kept them from speaking the five years since.
A passerby photographs a drug addict, homeless, a “no-hoper”, so they say, “never would have been”, while far away a mother wonders what became of her son.
All in a photo... What can it say, how can it really describe the people behind its frame? How can something so meaningful be captured within something so small? It is a memory...
A photograph from heaven displays everything on earth while the Holy One wonders...
How long, how long will they remember? How long will they hold grudges for past wrongs? How long will they hold onto guilt for their sin? How long will they continue to live in the past, not allowing me to heal them and carry them forth into the present? How long...?
It is all in a memory...
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