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Sunday, January 15, 2023

I Found A Picture of You...

"I found a picture of you, oh-oh
Well, it hijacked my world at night"
(The Pretenders, Back on the Chain Gang)

If you are a consumer of The Facebooks, you no doubt see these challenge postings, whereby someone posts something and then asks others to do the same.  I really enjoy these kinds of things, by the way.  Well, more precisely, I really enjoy seeing pictures, and it's neat to learn about others I've met or interacted with over the years.  In a world that seems ever so large, complex, and harried, these small acts of connection can, I think, help re-ground us.  At least for me.

The above noted I don't do these kinds of things very often.  That's less about a refusal on my part and more about the fact that, well, I don't get asked to participate.  Trust me, that's not a cry for attention on my part.  I don't have a thousand Facebook connections, so the odds just don't align to make these kinds of things happen.  That makes the times when they do kind of neat.  As such, I was invited to participate in a photo-sharing challenge.  I make it a policy to not reference other (private, as opposed to public) people in these postings, well outside of special occasions, so I'm not going to mention names.  What I will say this:  The person who nominated me is someone I have an incredible amount of respect for, and I am honored that she thought of me.   

This particular challenge involves posting photos that "bring me joy", without any explanations.  This really is a challenge for me (pun intended) for two reasons:

  1. I struggle with a concept like "joy".  Struggle as in "what does joy really mean"?  How would I know if something "brings me joy" in the first place?  Now reading this you may think "what the heck is he even talking about?", but it's a genuine thing for me.  In a way, I don't process very strong emotions well.  I know where this comes from...a childhood where a premium was placed on not expressing myself very often.  
  2. I also struggle with not being able to describe things.  It almost goes against my nature to not write about things like important pictures.  In a way, I'm using this blog posting to kind of circumvent the rules of the challenge itself.  Yes, guilty as charged.
So, how do I find pictures that bring me joy if I'm not sure what joy means?  Well, I ended up not dwelling on the word "joy" and instead thought to myself "okay, what pictures can I find that have some deeper meaning to me?".  That was easy.  The next step is going through the 10,000+ digital photos I have on file.  

I actually came up with a strategy of sorts:  This is a 10-day challenge, so I decided to pick an underlying theme for each day.  For example, the second day was about my daughters when they were younger.  Day 3 was about some of the vehicles I owned.  Day 4 was about JeanLuc the cat, who meant the world to me and helped me, in a very real sense, get through one of the most difficult times in my life.  Finding JeanLuc pictures to share was a mixture of fond memories and sadness that he's not here with me now.  To the extent that anyone can actually love something other than another person, I loved JeanLuc.  

Today is Day 4, and I'm still thinking about the theme.  Rest assured though, there will be a theme.  I literally can't do the whole random thing.  It's as if my mind is always trying to create some sense of order in everything I do and around me, so the idea of just randomly posting photos seems nearly impossible.  Emphasis on "my mind", as I think an ongoing theme of my life has always been the idea of my trying to make some sense of the constant, bordering on chaotic, noise of thoughts in my head.  As a side note, that's also a damn fine explanation as to why I've never had a really good relationship with sleep...getting that constant noise in my head to quiet down takes some work.

Finally, these postings are shared publicly on Facebook, so if you want to see them, just view my profile.