The Importance of Photographs and Memories
This summer I had the joy of spending a month in Australia reconnecting with my family, friends and my mother’s garage, sifting through photographs & memories.
Every trip home ends or starts in the garage!! My mother’s joy of decluttering could outdo Mari Kondo and in fact I’m not sure why mum doesn’t have her own Netflix show on it. Her love of decluttering may have something to do with the fact that mum has moved her whole life, loves order and peace (of the visual kind) in her house and garage.
So down we went, opened up the garage door to let the sunshine and fragrance of frangipani in and we went through the remaining boxes of my life that we had already scoured the year before for any superfluous things that might be lurking in its depths.
I humoured her because for the life of me I remembered having my garage goodies down to the bare essentials. When we opened the big wooden boxes that housed my stuff there were the copies of Chasing a Dream, Italian Joy and My French Life that remained like precious jewels that I wanted to hang on to forever. There was my uncle’s beloved Voigtländer camera that we were never getting rid of, my collection of CD’s and my photos.
Mum and I started digging through the remains to see if there was anything that could be recycled, given away or tossed. We ended up as we always do getting side swiped by memories, the ones we found in the photos and there we were sitting amongst the mess in wonder at these beautiful old photos of my mum and dad, so elegant, young and beautiful and my brothers and sisters who were free and joyous in childhood.
For so long in your 20’s, 30’,s & 40’s, your life feels like it stands still and that things move slowly and then one day you dip into the box, you realise you are over 50 and even though you still feel like 30 on the inside we have become the grown-ups (well you know what I mean).
It may be my age, it may be that I live on the other side of the world, it may be that the world is conscious of all the stuff that is destroying our planet but I can no longer stand having stuff in my life except the photos of our lives which will always remain a treasure.
In these faded sometimes blurry images are the echoes of the sea, laughter, possibility, love, friendship and family. They are more than just an image, they are the energetic representation of our lives, of our ancestors and where we come from. When we go, they are the only thing we leave along with the memories and stories.
So I will leave you with some of the treasures we found in the garage this year, that we scanned from old slides, the memories it brought back into our lives and the words of Aaron Siskind, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Look after your photos.
Love and light,