Every Friday, my mother and Diamondqueen do a “this moment” post a la SouleMama, sharing only a photo. Today my mother shared this shot of Diamondqueen and me doing needlework while sitting on my sister’s futon in the family room. St. Jimmi, the bluetick coonhound, and cat
Snickers* Milky are quite present.
*I can never tell those cats apart!
It appears to be a scene of domestic bliss, a cozy afternoon stitching and sharing the company of beloved animals. For the “moment” of this photo, it was exactly that. But there’s more to the story.
In moments before and after Mom snapped this image, these things took place:
Snickers Milky kept climbing on my lap, nudging away my crocheting and insisting I pet her incessantly. If you look closely at Jimmi, she’s got her nose tucked nearly under Diamondqueen’s butt. It’s a good thing she was cold, otherwise she might have been chasing Snickers Milky through the house. However, when Diamondqueen realized how chilly Jimmi was, she dragged out the sweater she knitted for Jimmi last summer. Unfortunately, Jimmi has broadened her horizons, so to speak, a lot since then. The sweater spanned her girth, stretching the stitches so they gaped as if they were an expanse of wide netting.
Sometime before or after the photo (I forget which), Diamondqueen realized Jimmi wasn’t in the room and suddenly caught the undeniable sound of a dog’s teeth ripping at a vintage book. Diamondqueen rushed into the living room to find Jimmi gnawing away at a book cover.
Mom goes to Diamondqueen’s every Friday, bringing lunch and sharing conversation undisturbed by the Hooligans. I was in attendance this once because S.Hooligan’s school was having its annual Halloween parade around 1:30 in the afternoon. At the time of this photo, we’d either just returned from the parade (chilled from standing on the playground to watch the costumed students pass in procession), or we were snatching a few seconds of stitching time before we headed down to the school.
So this serene photo presents an enviable tableau, but know that the moment was almost as brief as the camera’s flash.
NUDGE: Choose a photo. It can be an old snapshot or a digital image, but preferably you remember the circumstances of the shot. Write about the details of the photo, what the image appears to present to an objective viewer. Then tell the actual circumstances, confirming or contradicting the scene. Recount incidences that preceded the Kodak moment and what happened afterward. If you don’t remember, don’t worry. Make something up.
Similarly, choose any photo from anywhere for this same exercise. Give your imagination a workout as you create a fictional story around the scene—present, past, and future. By “fictional story,” I don’t mean literally fiction, unless that what you enjoy writing. It can be any genre you prefer, from a blog post to a poem.