Friday: Photo & Bliss

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

This week’s Photo Friday Challenge was “Handsome”. This is the type of challenge that initially frustrates me. I immediately thought “portrait of handsome man”, which would be problematic for me as I don’t typically shoot portraits. I have a great photo of my son, taken two years ago, in which he looks, in my opinion, very handsome. He dislikes the photo because he is unshaven, and he thinks he looks like he has a double-chin. I wouldn’t post at anyway, because it is a rule that we have that I won’t do that. My next thought was that I could post a picture of a Handsome Cab, but then I remembered that it is HANSOM CAB, not HANDSOME Cab, and I’m not nearby any place that would have such a vehicle.

And then, this story landed in my lap in the most unexpected place: my aunt’s funeral: My cousin gave the eulogy. He reminded us of how his late father would come home each evening and, smiling, announce “Handsome’s home.” This was quite the joke with his kids as they grew older. Several years ago my aunt, coming out of anesthesia, asked a nurse, in the silliest of ways: “Am I beautiful?” This was repeated to her later, after the drugs wore off. It, too, was a joke with her children. The nicknames “Handsome” and “Beautiful” stuck with them for the rest of their lives. It was a beautiful memory for my cousin to share about his parents, who were lovely and loving people who lived long, happy lives that touched many people.

My aunt loved birds. As I was thinking about her and this story, I thought of this photograph that I took earlier in the week of two Canadian Geese, sitting quietly on a small island in a pond. I had been taking pictures of the water when I realized the birds were there. Canadian geese mate for life. These two seem like a content couple, happy to be blending into the background. My aunt and uncle were just two normal people. In a crowd, you might not notice them. To each other, though, they were Handsome and Beautiful. In honor of my aunt & uncle, I name the geese in this photo Handsome & Beautiful. My aunt would like that I think — and would likely have something quite witty to say about a goose being named after her!


On a completely different emotional note, here is my bliss list, in no particular order, for this week. See links to others’ lists here. Thanks, Liv Lane for sponsoring this.

1. Having the time to take long walks this week.
2. Hearing the frost melt in the woods.
3. Getting such wonderful feedback from visitors to my blog on my photographs.
4. Spending time with family. (Son home from college this weekend = smiles.)
5. Sharing laughs and fond memories with extended family. There are always more laughs than tears at funerals in my family. I think that it should be that way.

7 responses to “Friday: Photo & Bliss

  1. What a lovely story about Handsome and Beautiful. I didn’t know that Canada Geese mate for life; I will look at them a little differently as they waddle through the park and fly over my house. They really are handsome critters.

    • I find them very annoying at times. But, when I see one mourning its mate, as I have seen when one is sitting next to his dying mate who has been struck by a car, I mourn with them. It’s very sad. There was a flock I used to see late last summer/early fall, that was only 23 geese. The lone goose seemed quite cranky and really, could you blame her?

  2. Beautiful story and lovely photo! (And Handsome Cab is a great idea!)

  3. BTW – I like the idea of a “bliss list”.

  4. Considering the non-gender specific definition of handsome is, “having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking” – I’m glad you DIDN’T go with the cliche of identifying “handsome” with a man. Excellent image to break the mold. These two geese look quite handsome.

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. Why do we consider it a backhanded compliment if you refer to a woman as handsome? Interestingly, very few of the photos submitted on the Photo Friday site — at least of the 50 or so that I scrolled through last night — were of men. There were several of animals. Some, I think were submitted with no thought of the topic, but then I must consider that if beauty (or handsomeness) does lie in the eye of the beholder, perhaps there was quite a bit of thought put into it and I was not applying the same aesthetic criteria.

      I would assume that this was a male and female pair, but I do not know how the markings differ on the Canada goose to be able to distinguish.