Monday, March 13, 2006

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

That’s what they say right? But if that were true, rather than turning in a 50 page research paper we would be able to submit a small portfolio of photographs and call it good. We’d all be photographers, and instead of writing journals, we would only scrapbook. Newspapers would be much more accessible and would no longer alienate the illiterate.

Actually, I have this all wrong. I’m describing, “A 1000 words is worth a picture.” And there is a reason we all write journals and read newspapers, and speak a hundred thousand words a day and then compensate by supplementing it all with photo albums. After all, paintings and photographs and art are each meant to communicate something so unique that another medium just can’t say it. And a picture is usually worth way more than a thousand words anyways (except a small collection of photos from my high-school days which can summed up pretty neatly with “idiotic”).

My brother Frank called me to rejoice in the birth of his healthy newborn son Michael Ward. He expressed how he counted all the fingers and toes. He expressed that there was an inexplicable spirit in the room. He said, of the pending birth of my own son, “It’ll take all the man out of you.”

Frank sent me a photo, over the weekend, that to me communicated much more than any grade A research paper I ever wrote. The picture is him, cradling his newborn son. Michael is crying and making a ruckus. Franks hair is disheveled and he looks like he hasn’t slept in a week. His eyes are hidden from the camera, but you can tell they are puffy from tears. He is looking down at this beautiful crying baby with an expression of utter amazement. The look is more than a welcome mat. The look is more than a “hello.” The look is more than fatherhood. The look is LOVE.

No comments: