Do you ever had a memory that you can think of almost immediately as if it was a photograph, but just in your mind? I have a few of those, both good and bad. The very best memories seem to be the simplest ones in a day where maybe it was just a Sunday afternoon and you were looking through your toes at your daughter, who was three and swimming in the pool. Yes, I actually took a real picture of that moment, yet in my mind I think of that day every year as she grows older and changes in the pool.
Other moments are when I am watching favorite television programs and the family is watching with me, talking about the characters, reality stars or the situation at hand. We sometimes watch programs that allow you to forge a guess at a killer or to a person that might get evicted from a program. Everyone is always very vocal and our thoughts come out about so many things related to what we are watching. Those moments, no pictures were taken except in my mind.
I’m sure those nights are similar to the nights spent in front of a radio many years ago, while everyone in the family listened to these stories come out on the airwaves. When I think about the times and how they have changed, which I have done a lot lately, photographic moments come flashing back. I had a new photo placed into the brain last night after watching several programs together again. I then began the ritual of going through more of the photos that I have inside of me.
I am sleeping with Magnum these days to keep her company while she can’t climb stairs to her normal bed and in these most recent nights, have been recalling many photos from my youth, my early adult-hood and even now, last night.
I’ve heard that as we grow older the room in our brain to keep old information will become less and less and we begin to remove what isn’t important or not used for new information that is more current and in the forefront. I could not imagine ever losing these photos that I have flipped through recently.
Alzheimer’s may come. Some other hapless journey may take them away, but I certainly don’t want just my age to allow the destruction of these great albums. What will I do late at night while I worry and think about today and tomorrow? I use those images to relax and remember and bring me to a place where I can focus on what is important and what should be in the past.
For now, here is the most recent pictures I have placed into the front pages of the album:
*Alye Pollack – I cannot get her haunted image out of my mind and wish she was right here in Rockland, so that I could do something. That photo is my cover.
*Japan and the Tsunami. I have very vivid pictures of that day imbedded inside of me. The dog who would not leave the other injured dog. I could tell you every detail of those pictures.
*Darien in her striped shirt, plaid skirt and black sneakers, ready for church, all smiles with a face that said, yup this is me.
*Justin and Barretta wrestling, mid tumble where you can see his boxers and her tail in stagnant wag
*Rosie, the great elephant and her strength in humor, mystery and revenge.
*Teri Coyne and the cover of her début book.
*Myself, looking into a mirror trying to imagine the person I was a year ago. My face is blank, except for a slightly closed eye and very shiny silver hair
*My distant family. It is a group photo of my Aunt Pat, now on hospice and my entire crew in Philly. I look at this photo many times a night now. I’m sure this one will stay forever.
I’ve sat here wondering if I can no longer see any pictures that I used to see and can say that I have forgotten. Or maybe I never remembered to place them there in the first place. I can’t see my grandmothers as clear. I see my children sitting next to them, but for some reason, the photo’s of their faces are blurred.
My first Pocono race with my husband, nine years ago in our Explorer is fading. The details of the story are not written on the back of the picture anymore and all I can really remember is that I was scared to death, but had an incredible time.
*Finally, the pictures of my children, all three of them when they were born. I don’t have any clue why they are missing, but I look at them physically and can’t remember certain details about their looks nearly as much as I used to.
But then again, I went into the kitchen to do something yesterday and at the stove, stood there in a complete blank at what it was. I’m sure I was there several minutes, almost in a stupor. It wasn’t until my husband came up from behind and asked me a few questions about the area of the kitchen that I remembered that I was going to boil water in the kettle to make tea.
This was the first real-time that a real life moment escaped me, not just a photo from my mind. Growing old most certainly better not mean that more photos will be lost.
- Is there a crack in my mind, or is it a Matrix? (wigsbabe.wordpress.com)
- 183: Photography as meditation (bogsofohio.wordpress.com)
- Emotion (Winnipeg Newborn Photographers) (chrismcwilliamsphotography.wordpress.com)
- Secrets of a Memory Champion (science.slashdot.org)