Gesture, A Self Portrait

The theme for SAPCC weekly challenge was “self portrait”.  Ugh.  It didn’t really appeal to me, frankly.

But, on Friday I took my three year old grand niece to the library, our bi-weekly visit, and I had one thought about it.   I am 63 years old, single and have never had children.  Yet, my self portrait would somehow have to reveal my joy in the company of those who have yet to reach the age of reason.  As long as they have not reached that critical cognitive level, they seem to enjoy my company and bring much joy to mine no matter what age they are.

So, I chose the small gesture, almost unconscious on my part, of reaching out for the little hand next to mine as we walk across the street or simply take a walk on a leafy fall day.  What I like about it the most is that it all happens without words. Sometimes,  I put my hand out and the little hand finds mine.  Sometimes, the little hand finds mine before I have a chance to reach out.  It is a wordless gesture that may be unconscious but it exists here in shadow.

©Pat Coakley 2008


8 comments on “Gesture, A Self Portrait”

  1. This reminds me of an exercise in film school where we took random scraps of 16mm film left on the cutting room floor and put them together to create a narrative. Individually, each of these photos isn’t particularly special. Together, they’re visually much more interesting, and they make you wonder why they were put together. With the essay describing things further, it really becomes a wonderful experience – innocence, love, and the desire to be with others, all in the scant 30 seconds it takes to go through the blog post.

  2. wow Pat… you are so much than that shadow or those simple words. But I love the symbology of what you have chosen. Always interesting and unique.

  3. This is so sweet and simple and just beautiful. I have a calming feeling looking at this photo.

  4. As always, I love it. I am always glad when I post before I see yours because seeing yours make me want to edit mine :)
    Even without the beautiful explanation, I “get it” :)

  5. Those two photos work so well together. Not only from a narrative point of view but also as an overall design.

  6. Pat, I so share the words of breathlessmini here. This is your art and how you narrate with image is very touching.

    The little hand that finds yours, or yours reaching out first. Doesn’t that just say it all!!!
    It matters not, who reaches first or biggest or fastest or with better jewelry.
    It only matters that they connect.

    Your postings over the last few weeks, have been nourishing to me.
    It’s probably been a salvation that our cable is out and we have no real time TV, only sound bites from You Tube.
    Not food at all really. More like airplane meals.

    But every morning, I’d sit with a coffee and load up your blog for introspection, and a reminder of what good and gentle things still exist in our time.
    I am thrilled beyond measure for all of us.

  7. Chris, I like this memory of yours. Although these images were always part of the same thought, the link with narrative has sort of a rolling effect. Rolling isn’t the right word!
    Amber: WHERE’S YOUR CAMERA!! Oh, yes, thanks, too.
    Russ, yes, it is most definitely the sweetest part of my life.
    Conni, You always underestimate yourself. C’mon that self portrait with the lame explosions was wonderful. Wasn’t intended to be sweet. I’m glad you got it without words, too.
    Razz, you know I thought they did a little bit, too (don’t tell chris, tho)
    Bonniegirl, you kill me and give me life at the same time. No mean feat in this day and age. I think I’ve got the marketing strategy for my empire after reading your comment. I just need to position myself in front of people, deprive them of all media and food and my charms will finally be noticed by the masses! Oh, I am sorry though that this siege is going on for so long where you are!!

  8. Reaching out to hold hands is an automatic response we seem to lose/forget later in life. It reminds me of the Robert Fulghum’s book ” All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”.
    Great photos!

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