Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. – Ecclesiastes 1:2
The ubiquitous “selfie” is often referenced as symbolic of vanity, narcissism, or self-absorption. I’m sure it can be all of those, but I see the phenomenon more as a unique 21st-Century take on journaling. For me the selfie is about the context, the story, the record of the event. Seriously, I don’t tend to choose the most flattering images of my mug so much as to post a way of placing myself in a particular scene.
In the selfie we are not just recording a scene as Observer, we are documenting our role in an event as Participant.
When Rebekah and I last traveled to Italy we came back with hundreds of great photographs, carefully composed images on my Nikon DSLR. Then there were the other pics, fifty or so selfies on my iPhone: Rebekah and Derek eating Pizza in Naples, R&D in Pompeii, R&D sipping a cappuccino on the bullet train, R&D in Assisi, R&D sipping cappuccino in Venice, R&D at the opera in Verona, R&D sipping cappuccino in San Marino…. you get the “picture.”
So two of this week’s 5-Photo-Friday images are selfies. But they’re not about me so much as the context. Don’t look at the face, look at everything else!
Toasting a generous gift sent all the way from Dresden, Germany (I sent the photo to the gift-giver). Enjoying good coffee on the deck because it’s such a beautiful North Carolina evening. Scoutie simply being an old dog (note: not a selfie!). Maul-Hall enjoying the beginnings of springtime. Flowering trees in Tyler Run.
A week soon goes by; seven days of paying attention to our blessings, our struggles, our joys, our place here on this good Earth in our journey together; worship, relationships, meetings, dinners, walks; lessons learned, new ideas imagined, people loved; lives edging ever forward, stories unfolding… Seven days, five photos.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.