Since I make my living attempting to make my words paint a picture—or at least a good doodle—I don’t usually subscribe to the hooey about a picture being worth a thousand words.
Not everybody feels this way, of course. Napoleon said, “A good sketch is better than a long speech.” And, truth be told, I find myself sometimes agreeing with Napoleon, even though I do think it depends largely on who is doing the sketch and on who is speaking. For example, I have no idea whether Martin Luther King Jr. could draw. But, still, I imagine that a sketched version of “I Have a Dream” delivered to the crowd in Washington via overhead projector would have been something of a train wreck. You see my point.
On the other hand, this photo of me, above, actually illustrates Napoleon’s philosophy nicely. I could give you the background here: Setting the stage by telling you that I’m in Santa Barbara, California, at an alley called Zodos, competing in a company tournament with 30 or so of my coworkers.
I could describe the slickness of the lanes, and the tiny fear I had in my gut each time I went up to roll the ball down the lane that I would slip on the wax and land hard on my tailbone—as hard as my throws landed on the lane itself. I could explain that this was my first time with the big balls—since I’m a New England girl, I’m used to little balls. (I’m talking about bowling, people, bowling!) I could tell you that no one wanted me on their team.
And I could also tell you that, if you are looking for some durable hardwood flooring, ask the folks at your local bowling alley what kind of wood they use on the lanes. Because every single one of my throws landed like an H bomb on a New Mexico test site, and you’d expect a pretty big crater and perhaps a mushroom cloud from the rubble. But not once did the flooring crack or give way, which I thought was pretty impressive.
Anyway, I could tell you all that… or I could just let the photo speak for itself. If it could, it might say something like, “Holy shit! What is she doing? Is she having a seizure? Is she releasing a homing pigeon? This is bowling, lady, not slow-pitch softball! Geez, she really wasn’t kidding about that bit about being stunningly unathletic, more Eeyore than Seabiscuit. She really deserves to be the one standing on the sidelines, last-picked for the team. She really should be afraid of the ball—any ball—because I’m pretty sure that the lane management are terrified of it, at this point.”
Of course, that’s less than a hundred words, let alone a thousand. But still.
Photo credit: Sharon Edwards