In a Flash I was Happy

Kaylee - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

The slamming of doors and silencing of screams through thick doors was the aftermath of another infamous fight between my Mother and me. I was filled with dismay and rage; I couldn’t understand how she could just put my beloved cat to death. After Whizzy ran away, he developed health problems. I knew that he was in pain and being put down was best; however, by placing the blame on my Mom helped me diminish the grieve with rage. This fight was different than others; it wasn’t driven by annoyance or disagreement but sadness. I couldn’t get the scene out of my mind; it continually played over again like a broken record player- “Kaylee, Whizzy is gone; we put him down while you were asleep.” “NO, he meant everything to me; how could you take him from me.” My face grew redder and hotter as my heart began breaking and tears filled my eyes. To calm down, I decided to file photographs. This may seem like an outrageous action after a heated fight, but to me pictures have a rare power that can help me cope.

These pictures were from my European cruise. Instantly, my mind is filled with vivid images of the Coliseum, Gaudi Church, and my new, international friends. The photos remind me not only of breathtaking sights and friendly faces but take me into that time. Believing that the photographs can take me anywhere is ludicrous, but I do feel that you can be raised to a more joyous place emotionally. By looking at memories, my mind has been erased of its anger and filled with the emotion I felt when the flash was triggered.

When I first moved to Georgia, the movers misplaced the pictures my Mom had saved from High School. Yet I couldn’t grasp until recently why she was so distraught. Now, I realize that she no longer has an escape hatch to set her mind at ease in her times of despair. My Mother can’t be transported into that time period, to who she was, or how she felt during that single captured moment. I began taking pictures as a hobby. However, when I look back on a set of pictures of my sister and me trying to jump into the air, I have learned that the objective wasn’t to remember how high we got off the ground, but to someday look back and remember how amazing that day was, and the love we had.

I do feel it is rare for something so insignificant as a pixeled piece of paper to completely turn around the emotions in my heart. However, I believe in the power of photography. I believe that pictures can say more than a thousand words but can resurface millions of feelings. I believe photographs can bring you into the state of mind you had when the picture was taken. I believe you can be removed from a miserable situation and find your “happy place” by looking at a picture.