i’ve been racking my brain’s trying to figure out what to get my father for christmas. every year he tells me the same thing–books. this year he wanted me to use the money i would spend on him to buy something for the wonder twins, but i don’t like that idea, because he should have things under the tree, too. he’s my daddy. i want to get him something, because he’s always getting me something.
a week or so ago, i asked my mother for ideas. she said to write him a poem and frame it. she also suggested putting a little book together of photos of he and i.
i don’t want to do the first thing. i already did that.
the second idea, though, had merit.
so tonight, after an ugly day at work, i play with the boxes of photos mom has stored in my brothers’ closet.
at first it’s fun, this little scavenger hunt. at first, when i find photos of myself in which i’m obviously happy, i’m glad. in addition to any photos i might find of my daddy and me, i’m setting aside those photos of a happier me, so that when i get sad or when i think my childhood was completely miserable, i can look at those photos and be reminded that it didn’t all suck.
the trouble with photos is thus: they can lie just as well as a writer can.
take the one of my younger brother, his wife, their mutual friends and i standing on the porch of the colorado cabin our family once owned. we all look like we’re having a good time. everybody’s grinning and seemingly happy.
i was eager to get home. i was irritated that they weren’t helping me clean up the place. i was irritated with him for rushing me. but you wouldn’t know this by looking.
so there’s all these photos of me with the shy, but supremely bright smile on my face. i wonder in how many of those photos i actually was happy to have had the picture taken.
anyway. by the end of it, i was depressed, and crying, because i wasn’t pretty and poised like mama. and i only found three pictures of only my father and i.
so, i’m a little bummed.
today’s wisdom is thus:
therefore we do not lose heart. even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things for which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 corinthians 4:16-18).