Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Metaphor Monday, except it's Tuesday!

Note – I SOOOOOO wanted to find the photo described in this story for this post, but couldn’t. If and when I find it, I’ll scan it in and add it to this post.

I was looking at some old family photos last weekend – photos from when I was a little girl. I was looking for, but sadly couldn’t find, one photo in particular; it is legendary in my family…. It was taken by my father in the late 1960’s, when I was about five years old, and I can still remember the occasion so clearly. At that time we lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and my father had decided to assemble his brood together for a family portrait, perhaps to try out a new camera, or possibly in anticipation of having a photo to send to our relatives back in England and Scotland. Whatever his reasons, I remember that preparing for this photo was a big deal for Dad, which is a bit unusual as he was not the sentimental “family man” type.

There are five children in my family; I have two older sisters, a brother, then myself, followed by my younger sister. At the time, Lesley must have been about nine years old, Angela about eight, Ivan about seven, I was about five, and Ingrid would have been about two years old. Mom had made sure we were all bathed and dressed up in our best clothes, with our hair neatly brushed for this photo. Dad carried some chairs out onto the patio, his chosen location for this photo. The background was to be a rock garden next to the patio, which provided lots of lush and interesting plants, being that this was the tropical climate of Malaysia. He arranged and rearranged the chairs just so, and got us all, Mom and five kids, into position. He dialed and fiddled with the buttons on the camera and made his preparations to dash for his place in the photo once the timer button was pressed. For the life of me I can’t remember how we were arranged for this photo, but I do remember the posing and preparations seemed to go on forever. “Move a little to the left!” “Put your hands down!” “Squeeze closer together!” …and on and on. And it was hot, humid, we were uncomfortable, and we kids wanted desperately for this to be over….

There was only one photo taken that day, and it shows six of us (Mom, Dad and four of five kids) frozen in place, smiling, looking at the camera…. Perfect! The fifth child, my younger sister Ingrid, is a vertical blur. After all the set up, at the very instant the shutter clicked, she jumped up out of her chair, creating a blur in the photo, except for her feet, which remained on the ground and thus are perfectly in focus. Legend has it that Dad was so disgusted by her jumping up and ruining his picture that he just quit, and put the camera away without taking another shot. The thing that makes me laugh is that if he had bothered to take another shot, the ruined, blurry photo would have been forgotten, but since it was the only one, it is what we remember.

So, where is the metaphor in all this, you ask….! It occurred to me that my life may appear like that blurry image of my little sister. And despite the swirl and busy-ness of everyday events and changing conditions, and as I jump in reaction to the minor crises of daily life, seeing the days rush by in a blur, I want my spiritual feet to be in focus, firm on the ground and anchored on the rock that is Jesus. And that is how I want people to see me when they look at the portrait of my life.



His grace is sufficient. said...

Thanks for sharing Adrienne. I could picture everything all the preparation. Kids being restless along with Dad being exsprated with all of you. I agree I want my spritual feet firmly planted.

I enjoyed the Esther study last night. I believe we are really going to enjoy it.


Jenni said...

What a fantastic story, and I love the metaphor you drew from it! I would love to see the photo if you ever locate it. I am so enjoying your participation in my little idea, Adrienne...thank you so much for your enthusiasm!

Dragon's Dolphin said...

Adrienne, I love both this week and last week's metaphors. You really can paint the picture of the whole process of the picture taking! So many times I've seen all these preparations made just to have someone bolt at the last second or do something to mess up the photo. But you're right--I also want my spiritual feet firmly planted. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog as well.

Lora said...

Oh do share the photo if you come across it Adrienne. Your story brought back so many memories of our own family attempts to get the perfect picture!

And Amen to the application. Your writing is beautiful.

Blessings dear one!

Cindy said...

Adrienne I truly enjoy your Metaphor posts. You write beautifully.