When an image gives you words


Motherhood is weird- at one point time seems still even when everything around me including that tiny human that I created is constantly moving.  Sometimes I like this stillness, my busy days and nights, two big eyes catching my attention like there is no world beyond her boundary that she drew with an invisible chalk on the day she arrived. Sometimes my mind longs for a randomness, in slow motion.

It is autumn, when the trees lose all leaves,” I told her this morning. It’s my job- to talk about nature to her like a poetry book, and she nods and understands each line like an emerging poetry lover. “Okay,” she said and pointed to a bird on another tree- on its almost bare branch shivering in the cold misty wind . How quickly she can think of different things and move on- a lesson that I need to learn soon, of becoming a person who can think about trees, sky, autumn, birds, and squirrels in a fraction of a minute.

This morning was different, unlike all the mornings since Spring. This morning I felt the urge to hold a pen and write. 

I was passing by a bus stop where employees of many organizations of silicon valley wait everyday, in similar looking uniforms- gray sweatshirts, thick glasses, and laptop backpacks. This morning, I saw at least eight of them, standing next to each other, not talking, not checking fallen leaves or the clouds over the tall tree heads, but staring on their respective phone screens. This is not a random scene in the valley; it’s the culture- by some unseen algorithm almost everyone falls in this pattern. Getting the newest phone has been easier than finding a person to have a long meaningful conversation here.  And I was thinking, in my very sharp and newly (motherly) transformed brain, “Thank God! I was not one of them ever.” I never learned to live for a phone screen, or on a phone screen, or falling in a pattern.

Autumn makes me wordy. These images of loss and fallen and rebound make my heart wander between past and present. A bus stop scene, my mother’s recipe to cure cold, a brick red sweatshirt on the patio of a tall building before my eyes, a recurring minty smell of nostalgia in my yoga studio, pumpkin decor in stores, taste of turmeric in afternoon tea, my daughter’s friendship with the sun, a red leaf on the path where I run- every image becomes a story. Do you see the randomness? I happily do. In slow motion. Like how change happens, how revenge is served, and wars are won, and images do bring words back.

I will write again.

Author: Archita

Musings about life and photography.

5 thoughts on “When an image gives you words”

  1. You remind me I’m checking screens too often. Which is why I am at a loss as to what to write, many days. More living, less checking.

  2. “It’s my job- to talk about nature to her like a poetry book, and she nods and understands each line like an emerging poetry lover.” Your little one is so lucky to have such an insightful, observant, and “wordy” mama. This post reads like like poetry. Thank you – it just made my day.

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