Hitting the highlights @photofriday

“On the Sixth Day of Christmas…” Six photographs:

– Craig, David, Geoffrey, and Beks

No matter how many images I share during the week, there are always more, strewn on the cutting-room floor, each one full with story. And that is especially true in a week where Christmas began, rolling now into its 6th day.

The grandchildren, it turns out, had quite the celebration in Orlando and Dresden. I don’t have any images I can share of Mr. T. (who at three years old was beyond thrilled by the festivities), but Naomi’s wonderful Christmas Eve photograph of Craig, reading Clement Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, is an instant classic!

The copy Rebekah and I use was given to me in 1981, after I successfully coached a dozen special needs elementary school kids into memorizing and performing the entire poem! I first read it to Andrew in 1982, then both children – every Christmas Eve – until and even after they left home!

Next up we have my mother and Max. Mum may love her new rug, but Max absolutely believes it was a gift designed exclusively for him.

Fortunately, she is willing to share, and she loves Max even more than she loves her rug.

This holiday season, however, continues to be a difficult experience for my mum, so close on the heels of dad’s passing, so please continue to keep her in your thoughts and your prayers.

Miscommunication:

Speaking of my mother, she is a real fan of Scrabble, so a game every once in a while can be a big help.

I took this photograph yesterday, just after we finished; just a slight bump of the board and everything shifts. All the letters are there, from a long game that generated a combined 650 points, and all the words too. But they are not exactly accessible any more.

It made me think about how easy it is to miss what is being said when we are in dialogue with other people, how meaning is quickly lost, and communication squelched.

In order to be understood, the words that two – or more – players put on the board have to connect, overlap, and build on one-another. Not only that, but our opponents’ words must not be disallowed; they have to stand, to remain, in order for any progress to be made.

I love that idea! Communication that works builds: it does not erase, or remove, or reject what the other has to say.

We will finish off this post with our son-in-law Craig, showing off his new grill.

Rebekah and I really enjoyed giving this particular gift, because Craig thought there was no chance he would actually be getting a decent grill. It’s a hard thing to pull off, finding out exactly what someone wants and also being able to make it a genuine surprise.

-NC writer Derek Maul lives in Wake Forest

You can see the balance of the photographs below. What a beautiful Christmas week. Don’t forget that the season continues through Epiphany!

Light in dark places; belief in the face of cynicism; grace in response to bitterness and hate. Merry Christmas! – DEREK

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