Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

In a museum in Vienna we saw statues of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, usually standing alone and looking very grand.  Occasionally one was portrayed with his spouse, each sitting upon a throne, like salt and pepper shakers; a matched set, but separate.  Then we came to a sculpture of an Egyptian couple sharing the same seat, a simple stone block.  I don’t remember who it was, some Ramses or other, but it didn’t matter.  He leaned into her ever so slightly, and her arm rested gently on his back in such a fond and tender gesture that it warmed the stone.  Not just mummies waiting to happen, they were flesh and blood humans who must have loved as tenderly as we do.  Togetherness for all times, and all time.

In Vienna we visited The House of Music, where we saw this Mozart Family portrait.  Seated at the piano were young Wolfgang, his sister Maria Anna, and their father Leopold.  Anna Maria, Leopold’s wife and the mother of his children had died, but they couldn’t think of having a family portrait painted without including her.  They commissioned a portrait of the deceased Anna Maria within the painting, which strikes me as sad, but sweet.  Togetherness in any case.

Oh, my gosh!  I look at this picture of my husband and kids at an open-air history museum in Switzerland, and while I laugh aloud just to look at it, my heart is melting.  My sister Con says the one who wields the camera wields the power; if you are aiming a camera at folks and ask them to jump off a cliff, she says they’ll do it for the sake of the shot.  This photo might be taken as proof of Con’s theory, but I took it as proof of their love for the family photographer and to a certain sense of loyalty and fun.   Togetherness at any price!

But if I had to choose one photo to depict what “together” means to me, it would be this one snapped in the streets of Orvieto, Italy.  It brings to mind the marriage vows Thom and I made to each other twenty-nine years ago.  “Grow old with me, the best is yet to come…”

All words and imaged copyright Naomi Baltuck



  1. t2van says:

    My favourite photo is the one of your family as rabbits. 🙂 Family memories of togetherness and love live on forever….

  2. Thank you. That’s my favorite one, too. They are such good sports! It’s nice to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Madhu says:

    They are all so good! Love the Pharaoh and his wife, and your family is so adorable, but you are right, the last one is very moving!

  4. magsx2 says:

    What great photos for the theme, love the family photo, that is priceless. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Mags. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Somehow I have managed to raise a litter that doesn’t mind playing dress-up or mugging for a photo!

  5. Your family picture is amazing, haha! You all look great!

    1. Thank you! We really do have fun. I really appreciate your stopping by. Fun to “meet” you too!

  6. TheOthers1 says:

    Your pictures are wonderful. I love the last two especially. Made me smile. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I sure appreciate your visit, and your taking the time to comment.

  7. Great pictures, and wonderful words to go with them. Thank you. I feel greatly cheered up by your post 😀

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for the visit. Sometimes the best photos are not necessarily the best compositions or the ones that are in the best focus, but the ones that make us smile. Your haikus are like that– little snapshots of the world that capture an instant in time, and they always seems to raise my spirits.

      1. It raises my spirit, knowing that my haikus have raised your spirit, too, I like to write things that uplift or amuse. Occasionally I write dark short fiction, but couldn’t sustain a whole novel in that mode. It would depress me too much, although I do like reading Nordic crime.

  8. Kate says:

    For Egyptian art this scene below which shows the royal family of Akenaten together on a balcony is a favourite of mine demonstrating togetherness in that period. It’s the child and the queen which I really like. Your image of the Pharaoh and his wife reminded me of it.

    Line drawing of the carving:

    1. Dear Kate, I LOVE this scene. It is a beautiful and unusual portrayal of a close and loving family. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.

  9. Carol says:

    I chuckled at the photo of your “rabbit family”, which is such a hoot and a great memory picture, but my heart quickened at the last photo, the one of the elderly couple walking together. Great choices!

    1. Thank you, Carol. I felt the same way. It was a rainy November day in Orvieto, and I didn’t even know why I had brought my camera. We were walking through town and I saw this scene, and it really took my breath away. They were so careful of each other as they picked their way along the rough surface of the street. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

  10. sue says:

    Lovely, all of it! Through time and space, once again. 🙂

    1. Hi Sue. I always get a boost when I hear from you. Thanks for your visit. I look forward to hearing about your trip.

  11. Beautiful! I love these photos and the tenderness of your writing.

    1. Thank you, Cathryn. I think we’re both a couple of softies, as anyone can tell from reading your wonderful blogs!

  12. All of the photos are wonderful but I agree with you. One of the sweetest things on this earth is watching an elderly couple walking along slowly, holding hands. My heart warms and my eyes tear.

    1. Hi Tess, what a sweet comment. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

  13. Samir says:

    ”Grow old with me, the best is yet to come…” – really beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Samir. Robert Browning wrote those words for his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, so we borrowed the sentiment from them and used them for our vows. Song lyrics that say “Never Change. I love you just the way you are” don’t set right with me. People do change, they grow up and they grow old, but with lots of luck and love and patience, they do not have to grow apart. So glad you stopped by!

  14. Inspiring. Each image is a joy, particulary the rabbit photo. Fun! My favorite is the older people , walking side by side. Isn’t it beautiful to grow old with the same person whom you love for so many years and has loved you back too? That one touched my heart. Thanks.

    1. Thank you so much for your visit, and for your thoughtful comments!

  15. the photos of your family made me smile and the last pic brought tears to my eyes

    1. Dear Beth, thank you so much for your thoughtful words.

  16. Oh, i adore the last one. Very nice!

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to comment. I just had the chance to visit your blog–your post on “Journey” brought me back to my own childhood. Thank you for that!

  17. kathy Klein says:

    I love how you capture stories with your camera. Beautifully done! And a real pleasure to read.

    1. Hi Kathy, how good to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by. It is always the story behind a scene that catches my eye and tugs at me.

      Must e-mail you right away–I am back for a while and have lost track of the weeks. Would love to touch base about the writing.

  18. HoaiPhai says:

    Beautiful take on “Together”! Your first two photos had me wondering what classic from antiquity I was going to see next… great change-up!

    1. Thanks so much, and thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed your post, and look forward to more of them.

  19. i mayfly says:

    I love how you made that connection of together-ness with the ancient sculpture and how this emotion of connectedness has been around a LONG TIME – subtle gestures that communicate so much. Nice work highlighting the string joining the ancient past to the present…and hopefully the future. -nik

    1. Thank you so much. I am an old (or perhaps ‘lifelong’ would better describe it) English major, and I love to make connections. I can tell by your wonderful profile description–made me smile–that you do too!

  20. katehobbs says:

    Definitely the old couple. My parents always walked down the street holding hands. I want to be able to do the same with my husband too. Thank you.

  21. Tilly Bud says:

    A lovely interpretation.

    What a head of hair Mozart’s sister had!

    1. I want a wig like that! Thanks for stopping by, TIlly.

  22. Fergiemoto says:

    Great variety of the serious and the amusing (rabbits)! But I especially like the old couple walking together.

  23. Your heart really shows in that last pic…..♥ paula

    1. Thanks, Paula. It’s simple things like that, seeing an old couple out walking together, that make your breath catch in your throat.

  24. Anna F. says:

    I got goosebumps with the last pic. It reminds me of an E-card of an old couple. One asks, “How are we still together after so many years?” The other responds, “Because we grew up during a time when if something broke you fixed it rather than just throw it away.” Love it. Great post!

    1. I think that’s true, about staying and working on a marriage. I also think it’s a good thing that it’s easier nowadays to escape a really bad or abusive marriage. But that’s what makes a scene like this old couple so poignant. They are survivors who stuck it out, made it work, and still hold hands when going for a walk. Thank you, Anna. I really appreciate your visit, and your thoughtful comments.

  25. Lovely thoughts and corresponding images!

    I’m a huge Mozart fan, so that famous portrait makes me smile.

    And, I agree that the last shot really nails “together”. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I love Mozart too. The painting was such an interesting one–and I think it gave unusual insight into the family, which seemed to be very close. I appreciate your stopping by.

  26. I would choose that one too!
    They all ar very nice, and I like the first one very much, but the last picture is really beautiful Naomi, it seems like there is a story behind it.

    1. Thank you, Pablo. Those are the photos that catch my eye and tug at my heart.

  27. nutsfortreasure says:


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