Those of you who read this blog occasionally probably know that this year I committed to taking a photo a day. This is a dicey challenge at times, but mostly it’s really fun. Lately I’ve been thinking about how deceptive a photo can be. Last Sunday I took the shot above when I was out for a walk. A friend commented on how lovely my walk is, as evidenced by this photo. Now I love my neighborhood and I do think it is nice looking in an old bungalow sort of way. But it doesn’t all look like this shot. This is just one block at the very end of my route. Since I took this and Delaine commented on it I’ve been thinking about the shots that I and others take and post. How we give an impression that is interpreted in a narrow way, because the information available is so limited. There could be a garbage dump right around the corner from this walkway (there isn’t, okay?) but from this shot it would still look like this.
I think we give a similar view of ourselves to the people we meet. You meet someone and probably your first impression is pretty accurate as far as whether or not you will like the person. But you are only meeting a little bit of them, their public bit that they feel safe enough to show and share. It takes a long time to delve beneath the surface to really know a person. What makes them laugh or cry, what pisses them off, what they feel insecure about, all of that. When I was a child my mom taught me a little friend ditty. It goes like this (you must sing it. It works well as a round):
“Make new friends, but keep the old…One is silver and the other is gold.”
She always taught me to hang on to any true friends I am fortunate enough to encounter in my life. She said that although you will make lots of acquaintances, some of them very engaging and dear, you make few true friends and they must be nurtured and treasured for the gift that they are. Once you know what’s around the corner, you just feel safer, somehow. Yeah, so… Just saying.