Monday, November 27, 2006

Photographic Memory


I have always loved photography. I am the one who always has a camera handy. I'm the one whose friends groan, "again?" with exasperated looks, then later always ask for copies.

I had a boyfriend once who said it wasn't necessary to photograph memories, that the situations and circumstances and encounters were simply recorded in one's mind.
That the experience was enough.
That option never seemed "right" for me.
Others have told me: those that place all their attention on taking the view, never stop to really see it.
I beg to differ. It is the photograph that enables me to better relive the moment, capture the details, and not forget.

I like pieces of paper in my hand. I love old-fashioned letters with beautiful penmanship, books versus online versions, and a Polaroid moment instead of a scrolling computer screen.

My mom's box of old photos calls out to me like a siren. Since my dad passed away, this collection of photographs has gathered on her bedroom floor...untouched. There are piles within a vintage striped suitcase, itself a prize.
Within the case are assorted old albums, most of the pages loose or tattered, but the albums themselves are interesting. One is embossed copper with a bird design, that one of my aunts made. Another is made of wood, with a hand-painted ship on the cover, and the paper pages scrawled in my dad or mom's hand in ink...listing dates or tidbits of information.

There is a gold-colored cardboard candy box filled with more photographs.
They are starting to fade.
Some of the faces are forgotten.
There are childhood photos mixed together with friends and family and over six decades of marriage.

A few are Polaroid. A few are housed in clear plastic sleeves--once flip-pages of an album that has fallen apart. Now the pages are scattered like a deck of cards, and speak individual tales.

These are time capsules.
These are life's moments. They are golden.


Blogger Billie said...

I can totally relate to you. I have a ton of slides from my Dad's collection that I plan to make a cd out of some day and send to my brothers. I have some that I have scanned and saved, but there are so many more and not enough time. Not too mention my daughters photos that are not in an album, well some are some aren't - it's all hodge-podge. Then my husband has a box of photos that needs to be in an album and his life story documented for my daughter and her future generations. I agree, our photos are "golden" and my time needs to spent on these treasures as well. Yes, it is so necessary to photograph memories!

7:36 PM  
Blogger Jennifer W. said...

What a beautiful post, Barb! I can't think of a better person to explore the contents of that suitcase!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have asked your ex where eBay would be without photographs. Stop him cold, I bet.

Photographs are history - and who's going to say that isn't important?

12:09 AM  
Blogger Sue Bleiweiss said...

Lovely post Barb and what a treasure to have all those photo's and momentos to hold in your hand and enjoy.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Teri M. said...


9:09 PM  

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