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Photographs of Man

January 4, 2009

Here is another piece of writing I found while cleaning.  This one is from a journal class I took at community college.  One of my favorite books that my folks owned was called “The Family of Man“, it’s a book full of black and white photos detailing human life.  The exercise was, I believe, to pick a photo from somewhere and describe it in as much detail as you could.  There was then a second step to the exercise which was to pick one person, object or focal point of some kind and make up a story, background, explanation about what’s happening and the details in the photo.  So I picked my photo out of the “Family of Man” book, it’s one of an audience in a tent or outdoors and everyone is laughing at something that is not in the camera’s view.

This is just a brief excerpt out of the description part:

There are two girls in front of the man.  One girl has a shocked look too, it looks like she’s looking up from something in her hands. What is it? … The girl next to her, her younger sister, has her head cocked toward the older like she’s turning to her to say “I don’t get what’s so funny”.  Her sister probably won’t tell her.  The man next to them is looking at his wife laughing with a smile on his face.  He’s looking at her like he hasn’t seen her laugh or smile in a long time and he’s glad to see her happy now even just for this one moment.  Or maybe it’s been a long day and he’s just happy to see she’s happy and enjoying herself.  She has a hankie in her hand.

Here’s the second part:

The man and the woman who are happy again.  Something happened (or maybe nothing happened) and she fell into a depression.  Her husband has taken her out many times before but, tonight is different.  Like always though, she arrives in a nice dress, her hair hasn’t been done in a month or so, the perm is starting to come out.  She’s been too tired.  She wears no jewelery but her wedding ring.  Something funny happens on the screen or stage, she forgets everything, and begins to laugh.  She’s not even aware it’s the first time she’s laughed in months.  She’s really not aware of the change to happiness but, he is.  He smiles at her, he adores hearing her laugh, he’s in love.  One tear rolls down his cheek.

I can almost still conjure up this photo in my head.  I keep reading the line “She’s really not aware of the change to happiness” as, she’s really not aware of the change that happens.  I kind of like that.  I just really love the look in the man’s eyes in this photo, it’s just complete adoration almost like he hasn’t seen her like this in along time or as if he were seeing the young girl of her that he first fell in love with.  There are really a lot of great faces in this photo if you look at each and every one but that’s still just my favorite sort of “surprise” one.

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