Giving the Gift of Yourself



Today we are going to visit our friend in the nursing home.  We are making lunch right now to bring for us to eat together.  I can’t help but feel bad that we can only visit for a while and that our visits aren’t as often as I would like.  Things just get busy and she also lives a bit farther away.


You should see the way her eyes light up when the kids visit.  She starts giggling and smiling the entire time.  It thrills her beyond words.  The other nursing home residents also often gather to grab hugs when they can or to chat with them.  They often admit to loving my son’s fashion style.  He is a character!  Since he was about 2 years old, he has always been fascinated by men’s hats… you know, the ones they wore long ago.  It was a fashion then.  My son thinks it is a fashion now and considering how much admiration he gets from passersby… he probably won’t stop.  He has been known all through Kindergarten as the kid who loves hats and when he happens to not be wearing one, people ask him what is wrong 🙂


Anyway, I wanted to touch on something today that kind of struck me.  I just went to the store to print off larger size pictures of some of my photos for my friend’s gift.  You can see it here…



You’ll have to ignore the glare of the sun and the reflection of our deck (which seriously needs sanding and fixing up – don’t remind my husband as I’d actually like to have a break this summer 🙂  As I stand there looking at it, I am in awe.  It seems so strange that those are my photos… even though I remember when I took them and where.  I remember the time that I first loaded the photographs onto my computer and was then awed by their beauty.  It seems strange how I can put a part of me onto the canvas and walk away.


I don’t know if that makes sense, but I guess you would have to realize… I have never learned how to take photographs aside from picking up a camera and just doing that.  It started with my smartphone and later because of my interest… my new (used) camera.  I still have not read the manual.  I started to read a book about photography but right way it was saying do this and don’t ever do that and I guess I just don’t follow orders easily.  Right out from the gate they were telling you all the equipment you absolutely must have and how you absolutely must always use a tripod… etc., etc. and the problem is, I just want to get out there and enjoy doing what I do.  I know some would say, “how strange!  Wouldn’t you want to learn to do things better?” and the answer is always (just as it is with my poetry) I worry that it will change what I do, how I do it… and eventually it will change me.


I love taking the pictures that I take.  I would not want a smidge of change to enter into the picture.  I love writing the poetry that I write and while I can rhyme the heck out of a poem and I can easily learn the structure of other poetry, I don’t want it to change who I am on that page.  And yes… I guess then that I should be incredibly used to placing myself upon that canvas.  I write my heart out with every word and my poetry is me breathing and alive.  It could not get that much more me.  I think it is the same with my photography.  Despite focusing my eye on the things around me, what others often see… it is my view.  It is how I see and yes, it is also a part of me.  I cherish that.


So when I look at the gift I am about to bring my friend, I feel great joy that I was able to capture those photos.  I am incredibly glad that I can share them with her, especially knowing that she cannot get out and see them herself.  I know that I will be leaving a part of me behind, so I also feel uncertain and sad.  I never expected to feel that way and I guess I should start printing off more photos to place on my own walls (and I hate to admit I don’t even have one hanging and never have).  It has been a goal… but then, how in the world do I choose which ones to surround myself?


I just wanted to say… that I am sure all of us sit in a bit of uncertainty about ourselves.  We wonder if what we do is good enough, if it matters, if it is worthy.  I look at these photographs and I can’t help but say, I would have gladly purchased them to hang on my walls.  I would share a great amount of time looking at them and admiring their beauty.  It is not so much the photograph, but what is the view.  I feel incredibly grateful that I am able to capture even a small part of it to share with others.


(c) Sumyanna 2017


9 Comments Add yours

  1. What a beautiful present for your friend, now I understand 😉 you left a part of you with her 👩‍🎨😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      She really, really enjoyed it. I am incredibly thrilled and it was a great feeling to give her joy and a peak at the outside world again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a beautiful thoughtful present 🌹


  2. Serendipitous Web Life. : ) says:

    Amazing gift! : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you very much. She truly enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pete Hillman says:

    That has to be one of the most beautiful gifts to give somebody, Sumyanna, for you are giving a part of yourself, too. The flowers are wonderful, and I ams ure your dear friend will cherish it.

    I like your approach to how you have just picked up the camera and done your own thing. I did the same. And I bought the books, too, and also igonored the tripod and other things. I have learned myself, and at my own pace, and have learned by trial and error, which is how I have gone through life to a certain extent. The main thing is to enjoy yourself and have fun in what you do, whether it is taking pictures or writing poetry. That is the creative spirit in which needs a voice, or voices 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      I am so surprised to hear that you did not go to school or learn here or there. Seriously, your photography is phenomenal! She was really thrilled with the gift and spend the entire time being giddy. You could not ask for a better reception 🙂

      I tried so hard finding books and then tried so hard reading them, but every time it seemed like there were way too many rules and I just wanted to experiment and have fun with it. I did end up getting a tripod (used) later on, but only use it when I want to take night photography. It doesn’t happen often but many were saying you MUST NOT go anywhere without one. I sometimes wonder if that is why my images turn out like they do – because I prefer my natural stance instead of being stooped over a tripod, but I guess I’ll never know. As for going that way through life… I have to say I am much the same. There’s nothing I regret either 🙂 Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness.


  4. Your photographs and your poetry and writing is divine, Sumyanna. I am sure you have made your friend exceptionally happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you Robbie. I think she cried once when I told her I wrote a poem for her and read it. She is such a sweet soul. She had no family, so we pretty much adopted each other. She is now around 80 years old. She has a fighting spirit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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