Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hello there, friend,

I have read that too, but not from Sally Mann, that our memories are less concrete when we photograph them. Something in our brains lets go, knowing that the memory has already been imprinted elsewhere. It's kind of strange. If you take the photograph, that moment is captured forever. You can hold it in your hands. You can pass it to someone else. Not picking up the camera is a gamble. The memory may be stronger, but what if it slips through your fingers?

The hard part for me, though I'm sure I'm not alone in this, is that the volume of photographs I've taken is so extensive that wading through it is difficult. What to do with all these photos? Print them all out? Just the best few? Make albums (though the albums will become numerous too)?

My husband's grandmother was very crafty. She was a woman unto herself, feisty and smart -- the family still tells the funniest stories about her -- but she also loved to create. Some of her work is still at the lake house and my in-laws' house. Some of it is too fragile to touch; all of it is irreplaceable. These are the things she left behind when she passed away, and it makes me wonder about what my children will find when I pass away, or even what I will leave them.

But maybe it's not worth a second thought now. Whatever makes it to them will sift through naturally -- the photograph of my daughter holding wildflowers, my son wearing the rubber boots, the two of them holding their new binoculars, the four of us sitting on the couch while my husband gave our son a bottle for the first time. These already occupy a special space because they're photographs hanging in our home. Maybe that's enough.