I have set my computer screen saver to change pictures every five minutes and randomly select them from the photos I have loaded either from my camera, my phone, slides I have had digitalized, images shared. I readily admit that I have no idea how to control the choices that fade in and out and I notice that some pictures rotate more often than others. I fantasize that the computer is laughing at me and playing hide and seek with my pictures.
Each picture is a memory and a slice of my life. Maya and I are feeding a dolphin in one; the illusive, mysterious moss hanging on twisted trees in the squares of Savannah; aqua green water peppered by red and white buoys floating in the Bay of Nhatrang, Vietnam; the beige sand of a Moroccan flea market punctuated with the saffron and purple head coverings of the women hiding their faces and shopping for bargains; stages of life reflected in my different body shapes, hair styles, clothing choices, each one a sacred moment, each one an opportunity to mentally move along the arc of my life.
Sometimes the computer program zooms in and only part of the picture shows up on the screen. This morning I had a close up of my smile and my teeth – my dentist would have been proud – I laughed when I saw it but I think I could use some whitener. Sometimes I have to challenge myself to figure out where we are. Invariably the process touches me in places deep and inside even when I can’t remember the name of that site, city or setting. It is often tinged with sadness and loss; but more often than not, if I let myself linger in the memory, I feel a profound gratitude for that which I have been given. Each moment is a different letter in a blessing formula.
But my challenge to myself is to extend that thankfulness to all of life, even that which is not apparently striking. I tend to take pictures of the beautiful and surprising but that is not the complete picture of life. There are photos I did not take with a camera but are still imbedded in my internal album: my mother curled up in her bedroom deep in depression; the steps I tripped up when I was given the honor of opening the door of my grandfather’s synagogue where the hearse stopped so that the Cantor could ask God to bind his soul in the bond of eternal life.; the dreams that astonish me in content and vividness in the middle of the night – the ones that wake me up and sometimes serialize themselves after I fall back to sleep. And I could go on.
All of these teach; all of these make me who I am; the good, the beautiful, the embarrassing, the disappointments, the successes, the endeavors I wish I had finished and the relationships I wish I had done differently. All of these are opportunities for introspection and growth. Even those out of focus.
Enough, it may be cloudy right now but there is still a golf ball wanting to be hit.