A Thousand Words

By: Emily Eileen Moreshead


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Let’s play a game, Readers!

What does the above painting convey to you? Granted, we have all seen and probably contemplated the meaning of this well-known Edvard Munch work, but have we really examined it? What do you see? How does it make you feel?

I have always adored this piece. At one point in my life, a copy of it was actually hanging on my bedroom wall. I think it conveys life in a way that to me doesn’t come off as scary or frightening but as amazing, wondrous. I have always seen the character depicted in the painting as more than just an individual. I see the figure as a soul, a beautiful entity that has been through the cycle of life but is still confronted with everything the world has to offer at any different time. It shows not a distinct moment in time to me, but perhaps a swirl of every moment. The sheer volume of memories that come through that swirl of energy always fascinated me.

People are that way. We live our lives on a schedule more or less, going about our day with the same energies we find we need to push through life. Then we age, we change, we see the world differently. We mature, we recall.  It is this catalog of recollection that we have in our minds that often lays dormant (or so we believe; our brain is always exploring!) but is always able to gently probe us when this swirl happens.

‘The swirl of life’ I discuss is different for each of us. For me it comes when there is a new child born into my family, when  there is a celebration of birth, or even a celebration of achievement. (Who hasn’t pondered the way of the world on graduation day?) But the swirls continue in times of chaos and uncertainty as well. I recently went through cooping with a lengthy hospital stay with my mother which changed me I know, but also aided me in becoming a better person, and able to understand the ebbs and flows of life better than I know I have in the past. Age is also a swirl of life. We see things much differently in our later decades of life than we do in the early one. That is to be expected of course but it gives us renewed views on everything we thought we knew.

Think about your swirls of life and how your life’s path has changed you. We all see things differently based on experiences that only we can have or share with a few other connecting souls. A picture is worth a thousand words they say. Take the Munch masterpiece. What does it tell you about life? Self? Share with us.

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