Thursday, December 25, 2008

Photographs and Memories

I have a very good memory but also a neglected one.

My sister scanned in a bunch of old photos and I can remember the events depicted vividly, complete with the strange emotions of a toddler or even infant. (Really! One of the most profound sense of sadness I've ever had in my life was on losing a balloon as a toddler.)

But I don't spend much time in the past. The present is rather demanding, and what's left of my attention I direct toward the future. There are certain (I hope irrelevant) similarities that I've forgotten, such as my own children resembling my sister and I as children. I've never thought of my mom looking much like my sister, but there is a strong favoring from certain angles.

There's a swing-set, for example, in one of the photos which I remembered as being quite formidable (it was, for my uncoordinated 3-year-old self). There's a photo of our tough ol' alley cat, who survived out in the coyote-ridden hills, only to be killed by a German Shepherd breaking into our yard when we moved into a "safer" area. There are dingy couches, high hair and thin ties. There are uncomfortable suits--or at least uncomfortable kids in suits--cigarettes and booze.

I tend to be focused on my children's growth rather than my own decay, which insists on itself in its own way. I think that's probably a good thing.


  1. I tend to be focused on my children's growth rather than my own decay, which insists on itself in its own way.

    We're decaying? ;-) I'll have none of that, thank you!

    But seriously...blake, this seemed a very somber post to me.

  2. Of course we're decaying! Growth stops by 25, and decay starts shortly thereafter. (There really isn't a plateau in nature, it's either growth or decay.)

    Well, let's say that our bodies are decaying.

    But this is life, yes? It's only somber if you try to pretend otherwise.

  3. It's not the cigarettes and booze, is it?

    'cause that was just life up until, what, the '80s? Everybody smoked and drank.

  4. Yes, I know we are...I was teasing you. I don't pretend otherwise, really. But do I actively think of aging that way? No, I don't. And it's not out of denial, either. I believe there are fresh, new gifts we are offered as we age if we are in a place to be receptive to them.

    My "somber" comment was aimed at the whole post, really.

  5. No, just might be me being oversensitive here. Forgive me. :)

  6. And I meant "oversensitive" not in regard to our back and forth. I meant in my noting a somber tone.

    Does that make sense? Hope so...I like your writing, always.

  7. I like being teased. I haven't yet learned the nuances of your prose yet and (as I said elsewhere) I tend to err on the side of caution.

    It's just hard for me to relate to that particular tease because I have a dark sense of humor yet am not very serious. It's occasionally misunderstood. (Though seldom in person.)

  8. Good to know, blake. And yes, I do think I misunderstood you.


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