No picture.

No picture today.

There are no pictures of where I’ve been. In part, this is because I’m the kind of person who forgets where her cell phone is for hours at a time. I admire photographers, but I just don’t think in terms of capturing images. I’m too busy looking.

There are also no pictures because so much of what I do is in my head. Often I scroll through friends’ posts thinking, “Wow…….I have not been anywhere this week, or bought a new car, or eaten an Instagramwich, or done anything that looks good on a screen.”

This week, I’ve been teaching classes and raising kiddos and taking care of critters and a house. I’ve been working on a story. I guess I could take pictures of those things, but they wouldn’t be all that interesting, nor would they do them justice. I believe that some things are unphotographable, and not in the “My Funny Valentine” sense, or even in the “Bad Day” sense.

I think that’s why we have these squiggly little letter-thingies. Because we need them. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes a word can say more than a thousand pictures.

Today I’m holed up writing as the rain drifts across the Alleghenies. I’ll be in my room, sitting on my pouf, drinking ridiculous quantities of tea and hanging out with some of the people in my head. There won’t be any duck-face selfies. I’ll be travelling to a world no one else has ever seen. No sunset shots or weirdly foreshortened pics of my wintry-white legs pointing toward the surf. I will probably eat stuff but it won’t be photogenic and will be wolfed down in haste so as not to get in the way of the words.

This is my writing life. It’s not especially pretty–at least not in any way that’s easily captured on film. Hopefully I’ll have some books out there in the world one of these days so you can see what I mean.

WordPress would really like me to add a photo. Countless websites with “good blogging advice” caution me that I need an image to pull my reader in. I’m just going to have faith that sometimes, writing actually is all about the words.

14 thoughts on “No picture.

  1. Yes. I always click because it says “Brenna Layne,” not because of the pictures, which are adorable and/or lovely when they are there but which your words always eclipse.

  2. Brenna, I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes writing really is all about the words. As a photographer, I sometimes feel much the same, when I post a picture and then add words as though the picture somehow needs more, even when it really doesn’t. Sometimes photography really is all about the picture. And sometimes a moment is enough without being recorded or captured in any way at all.

    1. Donna, you said that perfectly. Thanks. I agree–the best pictures, like music and other forms of art, can stand without any verbal explanation. They’re so much about just visceral emotion and experience that trying to put them into words compresses and belittles them somehow.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca–I’ve been loving your images in your photo project–they really do come across as sights seen by a poet’s eye. ❤

  3. I’d like to visit some of those places in your head some day. Thanks for using words so well. You write so well we don’t need the powers of photography.

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