Art or Posterity?

There a few moments in life when self-reflection is springboarded by unusual means.

The other day I spied a friend’s profile picture on my Facebook page. He was posing next to several other acquaintances inside some restaurant or bar.

My initial response was ‘Ha! He doesn’t have any pictures of me!’ (meaning there can be no embarrassment on my part.)

But then I realized how many pictures there aren’t of me out there. While I theoretically ‘control’ my image, I also miss out some of life’s greatest moments.

I started comparing my uploaded Facebook to his: nearly all of his pics involve people while mine, which do not feature me, display a more artistic side.

I originally noticed this distinction a few years back when I won a regional news Emmy. At our after-party I snapped dozens of photos of our new statues: blurred, closeup…anything I could do with our limited time.

At one point I looked up to see several group shots being snapped from a co-worker’s digital camera. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those fleeting images rooted an inner need for companionship proof.

While I had beautiful artsy photos of gold and glistening Emmys, X had pictures of bright eyes and intertwined arms.

It’s second nature for me to experiment with art; I grew up in awe of paintings and drawings. I’d die for art.

I’m also responsible for pictures when traveling with my mother. “I always cut people’s heads off or it comes out blurry,” she complains. So, I happily step up. Dozens of landscape photos later, there are one or two of her smiling while I am noticeably absent.

It only really bothers me when businesses need a photo. Recently the regional Emmy chapter asked me for a pic for their administrative board section of their website. I finally asked them to use the picture of me from that 2008 night.

I even took him my own picture for my Twitter page. I had no one around, so I reflected my image off the bathroom mirror. It didn’t turn out that bad, but at the same time I was alone when I did it.

I’m only realizing now that at the end of my life I could end up with hundreds of artsy photos, but it’s the companionship that’s really worth gold to me.

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