Words fail me in capturing what I wish to say about the volumes spoken by this recent TIME magazine photograph of Congresswoman Giffords, taken eleven months after she was shot in the head at point blank range. Sparing you the perhaps futile effort to describe why or how, I'll just state that this is a face I thought I would never see.
When I look at the photo and construct for myself what I see behind the eyes, I see what I would have not thought possible for this person prior to last year. It is not about "better or worse" or "wise or unwise." Closer to the mark involves the experience of suffering and mortality. Not surprisingly, Gabrielle and her husband Mark put forward a positive image of hope and courage, but it shows a certain honestly to allow television programs to broadcast the brutal, gut-wrenching photographs of her shortly after she was shot.
The approval and publication of this photograph is also an act of communication, however conscious or intentional, and anyone interested in food for thought is invited to contrast this photograph with those of the Congresswoman prior to 2011. In the world that existed then, it is a face I would never see.