“Is there more I could have said? Now they’re only pictures in my head”*
Tonight I spent some time looking through old photos from high school and college. To be honest, I glanced through most without even stopping to take a closer look. But even with those quick glances memories flooded my head, some sad but most really happy.
As I’m sure anyone else would in the same situation, I immediately thought of the Muppets. More specifically, I thought of Kermit’s song “Pictures in My Head” from the newest movie (which I can’t wait to buy and watch again…). Kermit had various pictures of some of the most famous Muppets lining the walls of his home, and he looked at them to reminisce about the great times they shared so long ago.
All of this led to him asking the simple question of where it had all gone. He wonders what role he has played in the dissolution of these relationships, which has cast these experiences permanently into the past as mere memories. And he wonders if there was more he could have said.
It would be really easy to hear that and think about all of the ways I have not followed through on friendships over the years. After all, it takes two to be friends. Even if the other person did not put forth the effort to maintain the friendship, neither did I. But tonight I’m in a happy mood (it was a beautiful day today – nice enough for my first topless drive of 2012!), so I want to reflect on these memories from a more positive angle.
Every one of the pictures I saw reminded me of a specific moment in time, a moment that I simply could not explain in words to anyone else looking at the pictures with me. It just wouldn’t make sense, like one of those “you had to be there” moments. But the photos captured an instant in time when I had a shared experience with people who played various roles in my life and my growth into who I am today. While some had much larger roles than others, every one of those pictures featured someone that had an impact on my life.
I think the most surprising thing for me while looking through the photos was seeing how many were not there. I have been kind of notorious over the years for getting very candid photos and refusing to delete any of them (all the better to use for blackmail!). Based on that, I would have thought I had so many more pictures stored on my hard drive.
This is where I come back to the song. So many of my memories are stored in pictures, both in frames and on my computer (and now even on Facebook). But so many more never had the chance to be captured on film, and they will forever be pictures in my head.
At this point regrets are a waste of time. At pretty much any point, regrets are a waste of time. But I would say that probably my one real regret in all of my past friendships has been that there was more I could have said.
I do not mean this as there was more I could have said to continue the friendship, although that is most likely true. What I mean is that in those moments of time when we impacted each other’s lives, there was always more I could have said or done as a way of encouragement. I cherish all these memories and remember all these people and hope that I might have had even a percentage of the positive impact that they had on my life. In the end, there was always more I could have said.
For this I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone, both past and present, who played a role in my life. Some of us were best friends for a season, while others might have been arch-rivals who could not stand each other. But looking back those specifics soften over time, and I’m pretty much left with a sigh of relief and thanks for how blessed I’ve been with the people in my life.
And for the present and future, hopefully this experience will help remind me that every moment in life will eventually be merely a picture in my head. There is always more to be said.
Of course, since life is exactly like it is in Hollywood, we can expect the future to work exactly like the newest Muppet movie, when the Muppets joined together once again and realized that everyone still loved them. In the end Kermit received his answer. There was more he could have said, but he still had time to change that. After all, life is a happy song when there’s someone by your side to sing along!**
*I’ve always been taught never to start something with a quote, but I was too lazy to come up with a better introduction.
**That’s right – a post that checks in at just over 800 words. Don’t expect that to become a trend.