I took this picture randomly last week. I sat stretched out on an office couch, probably avoiding the grading that had just filled my inbox. A new gift fit perfectly on my left wrist as a reminder that many open doors are ahead of me, that the Ph.D. now sitting behind my name meant no limits to where I might go. Tilting my arm in the light, I took the picture with plans to send a thank you message for the friend who shared this good word with me.
Later in the evening I decided that the photograph would be the basis of a blog. Sometimes that’s how these posts initiate: a picture inspires a story. At other times it is the story or a starting concept that sends me into the neighborhood, into my hard drive, or into the Google Machine in search of the right visual partnership.
WordPress requires a title before it can save the draft, which of course can be changed later on, and usually is before clicking that “Publish” button.
This time the right phrase was one that did not match the hopefulness of the picture: “All fall down.” It came from the nursery rhyme that was so often a part of playground running and spinning games:
Ring around the rosy
A pocketful of posies
We all fall down
Clicking save last Tuesday night, I expected the title to change once I had an outline of where the story for this picture would go. Somewhere Alanis Morissette might be adding a new verse about what happened instead. That night was the last one I would keep that bracelet or the laptop beyond it. The next morning a thief would take both away, along with other items including the irreplaceable (unshared stories, a superman bracelet, and well-worn and loved Tevas sandals) and the random (deodorant, index cards, and peppermint gum).
A few days after the theft, I returned to this blog to reflect on the recovery process so far. That’s when I discovered my saved draft post with its mismatched title and picture. As I wrestle back and forth between grief and hope, this mismatch turned out to be imperfectly perfect.