A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words…

The prompt this week for the Weekly Writing Challenge is this photograph: 

The day was meant to be one of celebration. The marriage of his youngest brother to his sweetheart had all the components of the fairytale love story: two young people who had overcome all the obstacles that had been put in their way to finally join together in commitment to one another.

Eric felt no reason to celebrate. His recent experience had made him feel cynical towards the sacrament of marriage. His wife, the mother of his children, had decided two months ago that the commitment required of marriage and of raising children was not what she  wanted. She had left him stranded with two young children who did not understand why their “mama” was no longer at home to care for them and to love them. It was difficult for him to celebrate the first blush of love when he was daily worn down with the cynicism of a love lost.

As they were leaving home, Eric’s neighbour offered to take a photo. “Not often we see you all dressed up to the nine’s!” A quick photo to capture the moment; and to capture the time of unhappiness and discontent. Pulling the children with him by the hands, Eric walked silently to the church around the corner. There was no avoiding the stained smiles, and the hushed whispers. It was time, not only to wish his brother well, but also to face the sympathy of family members and friends.

What do you see when you look at this photo?

(This post has been inspired by the folks writing at The Daily Post. Visit them to see what responses others have made to their prompt). 

24 thoughts on “A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words…

    1. I am not surprised. I remember looking at similar pictures of my folks from that era (as suggested by the clothing) and they always seemed to be going to church 🙂


  1. That is an interesting take on the story, and not at all what I thought the photo would be about. No one looks happy in it, though it is obvious they were dressed up for something important. I thought the image might be a family portrait.


  2. I definitely agree with you that there is an underlying sorrow here. I like how you combined the loss with a celebration that the family is forced to attend. I also love the term “stained smiles.” Thanks for the great storytelling.


  3. Wow Colline, your writing is taking on a greater depth and complexity! Very enjoyable and interesting read. I had just responded to to your ‘Quiet’ blog post and was just thinking that if we had known each other during childhood, rather than meeting in adulthood, we would have spent many hours discussing things as we do now. You are the only woman I have met who likes to consider political topics and those that affect community issues.

    Now, to respond to this post. My first impression was that this photo was taken in the 1960’s and the man and the children were not usual church goers, but were visiting family somewhere and were somewhat forced into it. None of them look pleased about being dressed up or having to attend church. But, now I want to know if my impression is correct or if there is some other reason for the morose stares. Your development of the idea into a full storyline is facinating. It reminded me of class projects we had as a child in grade-school where we would be given a picture of something and then expected to write a story based on it. Writing assignments were something I loved as a child!


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