There are times I live within a frame. In a speech communications course I taught in the past, we discussed that we have a “frame of reference” that influences how we all communicate and how we receive communications. Included in that frame are our family backgrounds and experiences, our education background, socioeconomic class, values, religious/spiritual beliefs, cultural background, and a host of other influences. These things affect the way we see the world as well.
I am in need of reframing things. I noticed that I have not posted anything in over a month. I’ve written nothing since July 24. It seems longer than that. So much has happened in the last month and a week: my father had two hospitalizations; I taught four sections of English Composition and Written Communication; my father passed away; a close friend, cousin, and neighbor (same person—all of the above) also passed away suddenly. Although I have been on a short hiatus from teaching, it seems that time has slowed down.
I admit that my grief has held me back. I have not wanted to see the world and its wonders and gifts. I admit that I have been merely putting one foot in front of the other and doing only those things that must be done. But now, I feel the call to move forward and to do something to move forward. It is time to “reframe.”
We all know what a frame is: it is a square or rectangle or circle or whatever shape that you want to enclose something, usually something like a picture or painting or photograph or perhaps even a certificate, a letter, a first paycheck. . . . The frame encloses it. In photographic language, the frame is what we see when we look through the view finder of the camera. We look at the world through a frame that includes and excludes things.
Sometimes, I see the same things. During the last two weeks, I have seen the world through the frame of grief. As a wise physician’s assistant told me when he declared that my arm had healed, it is time to start living again. The wound has healed over; now it is time to get back into the world. Thus, I begin to reframe.
Google definitions points out two meanings of reframe: “1. to place (a picture or photograph) in a new frame; 2. frame or express (words or a concept or plan) differently.” Over the next several weeks, my plan for this space is to reframe it as I begin to reframe my vision of the world, not through the frame of grief, although I admit that I am not through grieving, but through eyes that will celebrate the beauty of every day life—even when the beauty is framed with grieving.
During September, and perhaps even into October, I am exploring what it means to see and to express life differently. I hope that you will join me in this new time.