Thursday, August 13, 2009

Facing Facts

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.

William Shakespeare

I have avoided this for a very long time, thought I might get away with it. Though it's requested regularly I do not have a photograph that people can use on advertising. I'm told, though I don't believe, that seeing the speaker's picture encourages people to register. Ummm, why?

For reasons I don't want to get into here, it comes to pass that I have to actually have one of those things. I don't like having my picture taken, I don't like posing for shots, I don't like the entire process. Every time, except one (there is a story there), that I've been asked to pose for a picture at a lecture, I have done so. Every time, I smile. Every time, I mean it, I'm always a little in shock that someone would want their picture with me, always a little honoured too. So, other's have pictures of me, but I don't.

Mike, dad to Ruby, husband to Marissa, is a photographer and takes amazing shots. He's done wonderful work at Vita with people with disabilities and I'm used to him being around taking pictures, that's what he does, it's part of who he is. I notice his camera as little as he notices my wheelchair. So, I asked him if he'd take something official. He has a thousand, no exaggeration, shots of Joe and I over the years. He sends them to us in dribs and drabs, not wanting to overwhelm us. We really aren't much into pictures. So I just left it to him to catch a candid moment.

So, yesterday, Mike emailed to say that he'd done my photograph and wanted to send it electronically. I gulped. I don't want to get into a history of being bullied, teased, called ugly and worse - that's only part of what bothers me. I have an easier relationship with my body, fat and disabled, than I do with my face. I'm not one who passes a mirror by with a stealthy glance. I'm one who uses a mirror to shave. That's it.

We are insecure, all of us, about things shallow and deep, profound and profane. But, I had no choice and I asked Mike to go ahead and hit send. I'm a little surprised that I'm going to show this picture here on my blog. I'm a little surprised that I'm trusting all of you so very much. But, it's just that I thought Mike did a really good job. I called to tell him so and he went on and on about lighting and texture and stuff. I just said, 'I like it.' He just said, 'Cool.'

So here it is, for the first time ever -

A Portrait of An Activist As An Old Man:

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love it!!! Soulful, beautiful you!!!

Glee said...

I really like it Dave! I reckon it shows more of the whole man especially as you are not smiling. Not that I think you are not a smiley man. In fact you probably smile more than you want to.

As Anonymous said "soulful" Good one and thanks for sharing it with me.

hugs
Glee

Susan, Mum to Molly said...

I love it too. I hope that you do too. I hope you feel that it captures you properly.

I do think you look a little sad though, or perhaps just reflective... Not old though. Wise.

Well done Dave, well done Mike.

softestbullet said...

I could go on and on about lighting & texture, too, but I will just say -- lovely. :)

wendy said...

I love it! Really. A beautiful picture.

joyfulgirl said...

it's a wonderful picture. well done to you and Mike.

Jan Goldfield said...

Cool!

Anonymous said...

Excellent! The activist with a soul. The one who knows how to choose and fight the important battles! The photographer who learned that and captured it!

lisa said...

And what a great face you have made for yourself, a face to trust.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Excellent! A thoughtful photograph from both subject and photogragher.

Don in Missouri

Virginia S. Wood, PsyD said...

aw, I think it's a beautiful face--full of character and grace. I hope you love it, too.

Kristin said...

What a fabulous picture. It truly is soulful.

Anonymous said...

It's so amazing. The man who writes the incredibly thought-provoking stories in this blog and the man in that photo match. Perfectly.

Sue

FAB said...

I think it's an amazing picture! Thanks for trusting us enough to share!

liz said...

What a fantastic photo! You look sincere, hopeful, and wistful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Mike is brilliant, but he had a good subject to work with. Strong lines, a great browline, and terrific shape on your eyes.

What a genuine face! I see hopefullness too, and sadness, and a life being lived.

A laurel wreath seems appropriate! And a toga. A nobel and elegant face.

AND this dude is handsome!

Anonymous said...

We all have our own insecurities, some run deeper than others. To me this face is one of honesty, trust and depth of thought. Above all this is a face of kindness and hope. Dave thank you for making the world a better place for all of us!

Cindy said...

Hi Dave. I absolutely love the photo. Mike sent it to me a few days ago to add to his site. Hope you're well.

=)
Cindy

Heike said...

Beautiful You!

Lauren said...

That is a fantastic picture. It is very regal and classic. He did a wonderful job. You look great.

Blog editor said...

Love it!

Jill

Cynthia F. said...

I LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful portrait. as an objective viewer without your history, memories, prejudices and insecurities, i think your face is beautiful.

i don't like repeating words, but i keep coming back to "beautiful."

i know what it's like to feel a major disconnect between who you are and who your face says you are. it's a strong connection and once it's rooted in your mind, it's hard to get rid of it.

i hope that in the near future you are able to start afresh and see the true beauty in your face that shows through this picture.