2016-12-31

retrospect positively

In the years I've lived, I've heard variations of the theme that one only finds the happy memories in photo albums and I'd say that was largely true for a very long time. But when was the last time you saw a new photo album? Aside from the occasional photo book created by some service such as Snapfish or a scrapbook thing, I can't think of a modern album I saw in physical format. It's all digital, and it's still mostly happy stuff.

But sometimes we take photos of things that scare us, that we fear, that we just don't understand, or that we have to share for whatever reason. And those photos don't fade the same ways as memories; when you scroll through your history of photos, they are still there. The mangled mess of a car on the side of the highway, the little-too-creepy costume that we're not sure is really a costume, or the haunting image of an unexplained pain. So what compels us to keep these? As I flipped through the photos of 2016, I came across a couple of odd shots like this, things that stirred my gut in some way. I realized quickly I had no reason to keep these, and :poof: they're gone. Soon even their memory will fade.

And when the bad is gone, what is left is either the normal or the good. In 2017, I plan to avoid taking those photos in the first place. I want to suppress whatever need it is that I may have to share my disgust or macabre fascination. And at the same time, embrace the good and great, to share more experiences, to have things to look back on fondly when I get to this point next year.

When I am very old, reflecting on my life, I don't want those memories--I want to think of the great times of adventure, daring, loving, friendship, and experiences. I'm unlikely to die a rich man in terms of money, but I hope that my richness is in my life having been lived fully, with friends and family the whole way.

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