Perfect Pictures: Post-Thanksgiving Reflections, “Meet Joe Black” Style

Meet Joe Black (1998)” was a movie about the Angel of Death and his earthly dialogue with a wealthy media mogul during his last days.  In the film, the wealthy man acts as a guide to Death who, in the form of a young man, falls in love with the man’s beautiful daughter.  Called by some as a “minimalist masterpiece,” you need patience and focus to get all the movie has to offer.

Here’s one thing I got from the film, and a subsequent clip on T.V. sometime after it was released:  During a particular scene, Joe Black and  “Jamaican Woman” (as noted in the script) are having a conversation about life.  She waxes deeply philosophical in her discourse. At one point she says to him in some sort of summary thesis,

…But the truth is, it bound to happen if you stay long enough. So take that nice picture you got in your head home with you, but don’t be fooled. We lonely here mostly too. If we lucky, maybe, we got some nice pictures to take with us.

Later in an interview, Brad Pitt who played the Joe Black character reflected on that line.  He said, in paraphrased form, “She’s right, ya know…life goes by and every once in a while we get a few snapshots to take with us.  Perfect pictures we hold on to.”

I remember the interview like it was yesterday because of the look on Pitt’s face when he was talking.  I don’t know what he was thinking about at the time, or why he chose that particular quote to talk about, but I thought about it last week out of the blue.  I wondered if our RDC team would get to capture a “perfect picture” somewhere along their Thanksgiving holiday time as they were together with family or friends.

I asked them to watch and see…and if a snapshot came to them, please consider writing it down.  I felt lucky to get one such picture on my holiday.

Mine  includes my mother and my two daughters.  The scene is my cousin’s home in Justin, Texas, right before our Thanksgiving meal.  Children are playing, people are grouped in pairs talking, some are working in the kitchen, and then I heard it.  You know the sound – it’s the “awww…” sound when something someone sees, hears or experiences touches their heart.  I’ve heard this sound come from an audience of a thousand parents when a four year-old ballerina handed her teacher a rose.  I’ve heard the sound come from my best friend on the couch when watching a chick-flick with her during an emotional climax.  I’ve heard the sound come from my own throat as I watched my brother reach over to break “the last potato chip” in two for he and his girlfriend when they discovered only one left on their plate.

And, I heard the sound come from my mother on Thanksgiving day.  As I turned to see what she was responding to, I saw her looking at my two girls.  My eyes followed her gaze toward them and I saw what she saw.  My eldest was standing close to my youngest and they were deep in conversation about something.  The elder reached up to play with the younger’s hair, flipping one section over so her part would be straight, all the while continuing to talk.  The elder was simply extolling a nurturing gesture toward the younger, my mother’s eyes caught the moment, and then my ears caught my mother’s reaction.

That was my “perfect picture” for my Thanksgiving Day.  I’ve got it and I’m going to “take it with me,” as the Jamaican Woman noted was possible.

Here is my "Elder" and my "Younger" goofing off together on top of the Alice In Wonderland Mushroom in Central Park last summer. I "heart" them, and their hearts for each other.

I received another “perfect picture” moment via e-mail this weekend.  It came from “Julie Back at the Ranch,” our Homestead and Garden contributor.  Here’s what she wrote…

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and just like everyone else, we are making preparations for the Holiday season.  A new red hay feeder was purchased and put together before lunch.  It’s red so I consider it a Christmas decoration.  If I didn’t think the horses and goats would eat wreaths off the sides, I’d hang some just for cuteness.  Our horse Roxy tried to eat my camera and tripod during the photography shoot, so I’m sure the wreaths wouldn’t be safe.

Yes, we ate some turkey.  Yes, we watched some football, but we’re happy that there are days like today that Greg and I can work outside together.  This is what we call “enjoying the outdoors.”  I can’t remember a time since we’ve been together that we haven’t had some kind of project under way.  I don’t think it is strange at all that I would have a camera in one hand and a shovel (for turning over the compost pile) in the other.

Luckily my husband has come to expect images like this from me and doesn’t question my intentions.  Dirt on my jeans and the sun in my eyes: this is my perfect picture.

So, how about you?  Did you experience any “perfect pictures” this Thanksgiving?  If you’re willing, we’d love to hear about them.  Just hit the ‘comment’ button and let us know.

All the best…and here’s wishing you many, many perfect pictures in your portfolio of life.