Belated, but here it is for the record.
These picture are not the most attractive of everyone, but pictures like this are not about everyone’s individual attractiveness, they are a document of relationship. If I could only tell you the back story behind these photos, the memories they conjure up for me are (in order) 1. Lighthearted and fun. 2. Painful. 3. Refreshing.
I hate to be so honest, but this was one of the more painful Christmas gatherings I have had the privilege of being a part of with my family, for a great number of conjugating reasons, Just a few days later, however, we spent some time together in beautiful Braidwood and it was warm and comfortable and meaningful and bonding, just as we are usually.
I think I understand (though have to re-remember sometimes) that pain can be a good thing. Things get purged, stuff comes out into the open and then we move past it, we forgive, we forget, we take things on board, we might change, hopefully there is little trust lost along the way. Perhaps more objectivity is gained and once the serious stuff is all aired out to dry we open up a bottle and get merry and laugh about it all – just to remind ourselves that what seems so serious is not that grave and in fact the things of love and beauty and friendship and cheer and togetherness are more important than opinions or inner turmoil or overwhelming emotions that come and go or slips of the tongue. And that, in fact, we are more than what this mortality restricts us too.