Zoom Out, Then Zoom In To See Life’s Details

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Not all of the details of life are pretty.

Certainly we know people whose lives fray with messy edges. Sometimes, we are those people. (Tweet that)

With time and perspective we notice things that we were unaware of at the time. Details are impossible to see all at once.

I know that sometimes I want to cut out the stuff that isn’t pretty, flattering, or seemingly useful. But I risk cutting out things that make up a vivid life upon closer inspection.

I’ll share an example: I came across this photo from a long ago family Christmas. Just an average snapshot of life for a regular family.

Certainly life was not all rosy for them.

And yet…yet, there is so much beauty that was certainly missed the first time this picture was viewed.

Christmas orange

This picture hides many layers that seem to make an average shot, but there is more…

-I notice my grandma’s beauty. Shes about my current age here, all festive in red

-I see my aunt Kathy, only 11 years older than me. Just my daughter’s current age and I wonder how that could be! I remember how much care she gave to me as a child. Responsibility for me

-My grandparent’s three-legged Siamese cat Sammy lounges under the table, and I recall how I would rub that silky fur

-The tree in the corner, placed on a tiered stand my carpenter grandpa built

-Shiny little girl hair, once mine crowns a happy child’s head

-A high chair in the back would have held my younger cousins. I smile as I remember our antics and adventures

-Grandpa leans back in his chair, always the same chair…head of the table. In his everyday white t-shirt. He loved to watch the festivities on holidays

-Unseen? I know the layout of this house, though I haven’t seen it in a few decades. I see the black doorknobs and remember how the paint gathered near the old locks. The craftsman style built-in behind Grandpa. There was a pantry behind that wall. I remember the feel of the huge vent on the floor just to the left out of sight. How I would stand over it and watch it blow my clothing with delight. Behind us there would be a coffee table with delights only out at Christmas. A bowl of nuts, walnuts were my favorite. Ribbon candy.

There is so much unseen. An average home, a regular family. All playing parts in the fabric of my family tapestry.

There were frayed threads. Ugly spills.

Oh, but the final product. What beauty, what texture!

Don’t crop out the small things. They are building upon each other to capture something that isn’t finished yet.

Share this article with a friend. Let’s look closer, together.

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About christasterken

Committed to a life of purpose. Learning to live abundantly. Embracing creativity. Questioning. Delighting in the comforts of home and family. Determining not to settle only for how things are, but how they could be. Writing is part of who I am, so I trust In God who gave the gift to show me how I can serve Him through it. That is my life…one word at a time. Psalm 89:11a“Teach me your way , O Lord, and I will walk in your truth”

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