God, in sepia tones

May 7, 2013

Dani, who at one point considered herself a novice cell-phone photographer, posted (another) Instagram masterpiece.

Picture a one-dollar bill. The back of it. Under the ONE, someone at some point had scrawled a message in purple marker. Being hand-written, the message was barely distinguishable. The thickness of the marker further muddled legibility.

At first glance, it appeared to read “God is in Change”. Someone had taken the time to contemplate the phrase and then write it on a bill for strangers to see…so what does it mean? Some sort of money joke? God is in the small things? The spare change? The loose coins you miss between the big bills? The pieces you throw away because they just weigh you down?

The ambiguity of the writing nagged at my curiosity. With another inspection, it may have said “God is in Charge”. I rolled that possibility around in my mind. Another monetary satire, perhaps? Forget the bills, forget the future? Live now? God is in the spontaneity? The untouchable, the unreachable, the impulse buy?

Dani had laid the dollar flat over another small stack of bills, which were folded. She arranged them neatly on her nicest-looking table top and chose just the perfect image filter, after snapping the photo on her iPhone in the bright pink case with the plastic jewel sticker she had placed very carefully over the center button. She likely captured several shots, each one reproducing electronically the sound of a camera shutter.

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