I am finding just how important memories are, how important capturing them and digitizing the old vital. Not just for past generations, but also, for myself. Snippets, minute filaments locked away and remembered with one small image.
Over Christmas break, I returned again to Pennsylvania and snooped around the old homestead. I knew where Dad kept his slide collection and wanted to try to capture some of those images with my camera. He has a viewer that I could use until I can get him a scanner for all of them. I even recorded my parent’s voices. I really didn’t have to record my mother’s because my sister and I have the uncanny inheritance of sounding just like her. Many friends and relatives can’t tell us apart at times when we answer the phone. For that, I am truly thankful.
As time passes, I need the pictures to remember faces, try to recall voices. Try to recall the vacations, the countless first day of school, and other events through time. I struggle with reality, wondering if I am remembering the moment as it was or as it is recorded on the photograph. No, I don’t know if Dad has any video; he is more of a photo guy. I know others in our family have video, but not too sure how much of our family is recorded.
Why? Why struggle to weed through all of these documents and media? Nostalgia sure. But I realized one day as I was researching my family history, the ranks are thinning. And as I have said before, time is fleeting. One day big change will be upon me, and I am trying to find a way to cope. Trying to find a way to preserve something important. Perhaps the last vestiges of my life as I know it now. I need anchors.
I want to find those memories that are locked away deep in my mind if at all possible. Maybe they aren’t. Maybe they are gone for good because we just can’t store them up in our gray matter. Or they are locked away in a hall of fogged mirrors and I need to find the key to waving away the density to reveal them. I just don’t know. It is hard to articulate my reasoning.
Life is a vague kaleidoscope of fragments, hinting at order and chaos.