Something about the bluegrass/tinny music and the evaporate/fade technique of these photos made my mind go into a warp of its own. (Okay, I'll admit, it isn't that hard to do, but still...) Tonight we viewed about 850 pictures, many of my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins... me, my son as a baby... tractors, horses, ruined barns, old Studebakers... Just a montage of people and dreams, snippets of time preserved forever by a quick shot of the camera. No organization pervaded this video, so the years flashed back and forth kind of like our minds do as we reminisce.... I have often thought about this technique of journaling, and I once made a photograph album like that with my gramma's pictures. I remember that my mother didn't like it because I had shots from the 20's alongside my graduation in (ahem!) '72. I liked it then, and I like it now.... but I'm not sure I could stand many hours of it at a time.
We build our lives in layers, spiraling through events, Christmases, new cars, first dates, marriages, and cemeteries. The layers melt together, intertwined with our loved ones and their events and friends, their families, their pets. I saw many shots of my cousin's parents as they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, and all I could think of was, "That was the day I started going steady with my first husband." We walked downtown to a drug store after school, ordered Lemon Sprites, and he handed me his ring. Long gone. I rarely think of that person, and never with any kind of animosity.... That part of my life actually never existed, or so it feels... My son long ago told me I built way too many rooms in my mind, closed far too many doors... He cautioned me not to live in the attic as I do now, but to come down and enjoy the whole house... (He didn't say it quite that way, but almost.)
These photos of my parents amaze me. They are so beautiful. They look so innocent, so happy... and they got to do their whole lives that way, or at least my Dad did... I love to look at that pretty hair on my mom, those strong shoulders on my Dad.... and, thinking of my own life... I wish.... for what? I haven't the wisdom, courage, or inclination to verbalize it, even in my heart, but I wish it.
So, thank you but no thank you to long videos down Memory Lane.... I am glad to have seen it, but for tonight, I even took my computer off of the screen saver slide show... Give me the solid straight-shooter shot of my good old geese at the pond... Ahhh... set my mind on stunned, and get some sleep.