From Above: A Heavenly Perspective



In many ways–some of them quite idiosyncratic–I feel that my husband Jim and I are still a team.

One of the ways in which he remains with me every day–and in which I still can share him with others–is through his photographs.  As I’ve noted before, he was panoramic where I tend to the macro.  He was a big picture kind of man.

During the months before his diagnosis–when he may have sensed just a shadow of the ping of pain that would signal the presence of that hideous tumor–Jim took an extraordinary number of panoramic shots from high up.  He climbed Fibonacci stairs and snapped away from magnificent stone buildings.  He shot swaths of Fenway Park from atop the Green Monster.

Sector-by-sector, he captured slices of bustling cities, ancient structures side-by-side with modern ones.  Century after century, generation after generation, were laid out below:  great vistas above which we were but a fleeting presence.

Some treat the view from above as a sad thing indeed.

“Among the high-branching, leafless boughs   
Above the roof-peaks of the town,   
Snowflakes unnumberably come down.
“I watched out of the attic window   
The laced sway of family trees,   
Intricate genealogies . . . .
I cried because life is hopeless and beautiful.   
And like a child I cried myself to sleep
High in the head of the house, feeling the hull   
Beneath me pitch and roll among the steep   
Mountains and valleys of the many years
That brought me to tears.”

Jim never saw life that way: beautiful, yes.  Hopeless?  Never.

After Jim died, our friends in Pennsylvania wrote that they imagined Jim with his camera, surveying sights we can only imagine.

It’s such a comforting image to me.

My Jim, from above.

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school on the banks lso is an adjunct professor at a law school near the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

8 thoughts on “From Above: A Heavenly Perspective”

  1. What a moving story and lovely legacy left to you by your husband. In some ways, it is if he was saying that he will always watch over your big picture as you continue in your macro world.

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