Usually on the days I work at home, I take a break by hiking in the woods behind my house or by dancing in my own kitchen to some Middle Eastern music. The knee injury has prevented me from that sort of physical exercise. I can't hike, or snowboard, or belly dance, until the ligament heals.
But I do have a digital camera. A few days ago, as a creative outlet, I decided to start playing with the camera. Stuck inside with a limited range of motion, I looked around the house for something to photograph, and realized suddenly that I was it. My own face was far more interesting than the unwashed dishes on the kitchen counter or the living room filled with musical instruments and dirty ski socks.
Since I am the person in my family who usually takes the photographs, I don't have many photographs of myself. Certainly not any close-ups. When I see myself in a photograph, I am usually a tiny head surrounded by kids, siblings, nieces and nephews.
My camera is a point-and-shoot camera with a broken flash. So I've been limited to taking photos in my daughter's bedroom, where there is enough natural light for the kind of camera I have. And the one blank wall in her room where the light falls is the wall she painted an obnoxious bright pink, so I have to switch the photos to black-and-white before I can even stand to look at them.
I don't plan to do anything with the photographs. They aren't going on my blog, since they show my face. I don't intend to show them to anyone. Some I have already deleted. And yet, it's been a valuable experiment.
Somehow, it is a jolting change of perspective to look at a photograph of my face and see that person from the outside. I look at that face, and I am able to name the feelings reflected in those eyes. I look at that face, and wonder what it would be like to be friends with that person. I look at that face, and wonder who she is. I look at that face, and wonder what her future holds.