I love this picture. I think about it off and on. Randomly. I took it a few years ago. I was sitting on a mattress in the floor. More on the “how-I- had- a- pile- of- nuts, bolts, and screws- on- top -of- my- iPad- on- a- mattress- in- the- floor” later. I think we all have a photo like that or an image in our minds that we can’t “un-see.” Some of those images are funny. Some not. You know, like the time your 10 year old nephew barged in on you in the bathroom. You’d like to un-see his expression and he’d like to un-see a lot more…
If you’re lucky in your life, you’ll have a lot of moments that you want to keep “seeing.” Memories. There’s also moments you do what I call “feel – seeing.” Where your soul or your essence seems to memorize the way certain moments feel right down to how your hair slid across your face when the wind blew, the smell of someone cooking fried chicken nearby and the sound of wind chimes and crickets. Maybe it’s the flood of adrenaline right before you walk on stage for recognition knowing your awesome but scared silly. The rush of butterflies before a first kiss. You can bring feelings back. They’re memories, too. I once told someone that I knew exactly how “places felt” and that I said goodbye to moments in time. I was promptly told I was weird. It came up because I mentioned that when I left home for college – I sat outside and said goodbye to the air, the trees and how it felt to sit on the tailgate of my dad’s truck as a teenager living at home. And yes, the night before I left west Texas after college – I sat on the tailgate of my truck and said goodbye to Abilene, wind, trees, moments and a phase in my life. It had it’s ups, downs, sadness, laughter, learning and living. It wasn’t all pretty but looking back, I think it was beautiful.
Maybe that’s why I love this picture of nuts, bolts and screws. It symbolized a lot more than me moving back into my home (one that I’d previously talked to and said “goodbye” to). I was in my bedroom, surrounded by boxes and my “movers” had unloaded as much of my stuff as they could the night before – at freaking midnight. But everyone was gone and I didn’t have a clue how to put together an iron bed. So the king size mattresses were in the floor and I’d gone to sleep on them. Now I had to figure out the bed. I dumped out all the screws and bolts on top of my iPad beside me and stared at them. And I liked them. I thought they were pretty. Still do. They were dirty and shiny. They were all different and I sure as heck didn’t know where they all went and how the pieces would fit. For some reason, I picked up my phone and took a picture of them. Maybe I was stalling on figuring it all out. I don’t know. Just snapped the shot.
So, years later, the picture still visits my thoughts. Maybe that’s weird. Maybe not. Because it occurs to me that these pieces represent my life. Things are going to happen. I’m going to get dirty. Things might blow up. Might fall apart for a wee bit. Turns out there’s beauty in the way you pick each piece up. Life isn’t always bolted into place. Sometimes I’ll get screwed and sometimes I’ll nail the moment 😉 No matter what – I can always pick up the pieces and build something new or figure out how something else works. And if it sometimes takes a long time to get over the difficult parts, that’s just me scratching my head in confusion, talking to my heart, trying to figure out where everything goes. Some “life projects” are harder than others.
So, this picture? It’s my life and it’s beautiful.