What do your eyes say?

I was taking a photography class and the assignment was to take a portrait. I happened to be in Florida and decided that the perfect candidate was my 99 year old grandmother. Not to say that I wouldn’t have taken her photo anyway, I always do. But this was a study of light and “how to take a portrait” assignment. My grandmother who just died this week at the age of 99 years old really couldn’t say “no”. Perfect. I must have taken hundreds of photos. The blinds open, blinds closed, the lights on, lights off, from this angle and from that angle. Not that she couldn’t speak, she could barely, and her thoughts were not always clear. But the eyes, they were with me the whole time. Looking at me, most likely questioning, “when is she going to stop?” But a lift of her eyebrow, a siideways glance, or just the love penetrating from them communicated to me that she was with me participating in our photoshoot. The movie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which is based on a true story, is an extreme case of this. It is a true story about the editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine who suffered from locked-in syndrome after a stroke who then, with only the movement of his eyes, wrote his memior by blinking. Or another true story of Jason Becker, a guitar prodigy who finally made it to tour with David Lee Roth, only to get diagnoised with ALS before the tour began. He is still alive and composes music by blinking. So when I take a photo, I want to see your eyes. What do they say?

Jessie Futerman 1913-2013

My girlfriend, my love. I will miss her dearly.

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