We've teased Steph since childhood about her creative hobby of the self-portrait. Whenever pictures from the family camera were developed there'd be a stack of Steph taken by her very self while looking casually vogue. We thought it was so narcissistic, but she'd just flippantly respond that had we her voluptuous lips we'd cultivate the same past time.
Many times in these past few months I've quietly thanked Steph for being so gratuitous in taking these photos. Having her laptop, I have scrolled through filed photography stopping to stare at all her bright-eyed, straight-armed shots. Some are solemn, some whimsical, while others were undoubtedly to be framed for Mr. Nielson's work desk. I like to experience her energy through film. I am grateful for what art can help us feel and remember. I repent of the teasings (only a little).
Besides, what is so wrong about a girl who likes how she looks? If the Lord grants me daughters I hope to find their self-portraited faces littering our Nikon's memory stick. It is a healthy way of being grateful for what DNA and Heaven provided you. And if it's true what they say, beauty is too fleeting not to enjoy while it graces. To be enchanted with yourself? Brilliant.
It is difficult at times wondering what the future will look like for this self-portrait artist. Something inside of my soul tells me that these stacks of pictures will have a role to play in her healing. The insignificant activities that we mindlessly cultivate always have a way of showcasing when they're needed most. Time--as always--will tell.
In the meantime, I continue to have my breath be stolen as I slide through her i-photos files.
Man, I miss her.