My family and I are planning for our upcoming photo session. I have always wanted one of those classic large family portraits to hang on wall in our home. Everyone smiling, perfectly pressed, neat and clean, wearing white cotton shirts on the beach. Of course, as I think about my family and what makes our house home, what makes us laugh, cry, and love one another aren't completely encompassed in those things. If you know us, you know that while clean and neat are clearly priorities in our lives, over all, life is pretty messy: children aren't always smiling and willing to comply, dinner isn't a three course meal on the table at 5 o'clock sharp, and bedtime is the dreaded hour of the day. Along with the mess are moments we treasure: the 6 AM wake up call, Butterfly Kisses, first steps, Saturday morning movies, counting clouds, and "I love you".
So why on earth would I want a photo hanging in my home that falsely represents who we are? Some of my favorite photos are ones when the kids aren't even looking at the camera. Deep down the honest me is already rising up to protest, the anxiety builds as I plan out every one's wardrobe change and coordinate sweaters, shoes, and accessories. Why give people who enter our home the misconception that life is "perfectly pressed" and planned out?
Life isn't about one posed image, the product of a string of acute details. I sometimes struggle to embrace the concept of Artistic Living, my own term to describe the creation of a life which reflects flexibility, movement, change, opportunity, assembled together to produce a mosaic. This picture of life has many small, fragmented particles and pieces, yet when they are viewed as a whole, they are seen as one complete picture. Mosaics are not made from other completed works of art. Seen up close, you'll see the pieces are actually broken, found things. I often get caught in the pieces and how they fit together and forget the Art of it all, allowing the pieces to come together. I realize on occasion, someone else may be the one to bring two pieces together and I simply provide the glue. Or more frequently, I am the observer of pieces joining themselves.
I encourage you today to consider your life mosaic, are there pieces missing? Do pieces look broken? What role are you trying to play and what role is needed right now?
I look forward to my walls one day being filled with not just one photo, but a collage of many tid bits and moments, which together represent a Portrait of our Family.