I really, really loved this exercise. It called for me to begin with the words, “In this one…” and go from there.
In this one, you are laughing at some now long forgotten joke. It is before they found the lump in your breast. Tiny lines crinkle the corners of your eyes, crease the corners of your lips. One errant lock of hair curls down in front of your ear, and your hand is reaching up to brush it away.
In this one, you are solemn, your profile dark against the slate gray sky outside the window. Your blue eyes look as gray and empty as the sky, and those tiny crinkles stretch down to the apples of your hollow cheeks. But you are not smiling.
In this one, you are angry. You do not want to be seen this way. You are embarrassed by the absence of your glorious red curls, and try to cover your smooth white head with a handkerchief, but the shutter is faster.
In this one, you are beautiful. You are bent over the kitchen table reading a thick book, and you are barely smiling, but it is enough. Thin wisps of mousy hair linger at your temples and at the nape of your neck, but the rest of your head is bare. You are beautiful, and you do not even know it.