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Ruth’s SOLS: Listening to Photograph by Nickelback

On Friday, after Andy and I spoke at Nate’s funeral, the song “Photograph” was played as the service progressed. Although I’ve listened to it many times before, it now clings to my heart. I’m reminded how music can make us feel and remember and itch to write.

A photo of Nate sits on our mantel. It is one of my favorites and even if it were of a stranger, I would still be drawn to it. I love the relaxed pose at my kitchen table, the natural smile, and the warmth of the light. I pass it several times a day and I realize the need to remember him like the Nate in the picture — full of life and stories and a little bit of attitude. Slowly it is replacing the cold images of his body that hold my most recent memories.

I am reminded that it is a universal response for emotions to be triggered by music. By tapping into this power in our writing workshops we can help students create rich words about the things that mean the most to them. I’ll be looking for a way to incorporate “Photograph” into a minilesson or quick write in the upcoming school year. I think it ties in nicely with collecting ephemera for writer’s notebooks.

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

7 thoughts on “Ruth’s SOLS: Listening to Photograph by Nickelback Leave a comment

  1. Thanks, Ruth. Listened to this beautiful song. Good for memoir– especially generating ideas for writing… “What would the photographs be that accompany important moments in you life?” Also good for a list poem: “This is my photograph…”


  2. Great song. My son was listening to it from another room, completely out of the context of your post, Ruth, and said the lyrics get to the heart of what he’s feeling now, packing up, saying good bye to his friends and getting ready to set off for his freshman year at college. Music allows us the freedom of reinterpretation – it speaks to our own personal universe. Thanks for sharing, Ruth.


  3. I wasn’t sure what the song was ’til I listened to it. I think this can certainly be used in a ML with your ninth graders. I have a few ideas hopping around in my head if you want to talk it through with someone.


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