Memory is a rebellion against death. It is a thing that refuses to die. It rests, latent, then resurrected in consciousness. Life without memory is only vibrating chaos. Memory keeps what matters. Hopes. And warnings. Good things. And bad things too.
Photography is a form of memory. It congeals the infinitude of a moment into a single frame, a partial blueprint that might help reconstruct things otherwise lost to time.
It is the ordinary prolific particulars that bring vital life to memory, little things, otherwise forgotten. Bits of clutter leftover from a party. The type and brand of cereal left in the cupboard. A child’s well-worn shoes on the rug that gets caught on the door every single time. The chronically pod-less Nespresso machine that remains plugged in. Each one of these is a gateway into a story.
Do not take them for granted.
In the right spot, at the right angle, the proper focal length, with the right exposure, a good camera and sharp lens, clutter can become poetry. Poetry that brings back the dead for a moment.
I write this as I am only a few days from moving away from Seattle. Everything around me has lost its meaning. Things are broken into very simple categories: things that will go, things that will not, things that are fragile, things that are not.
At the risk of being too dramatic, I wonder if this is what being near a looming, conscious death is like. —Detachment from many things, but not all things. Apprehension. A growing sense of frenetic pragmatism. Many final goodbyes.
Moving is a form of death. One that implies a re-birth, messy and chaotic, like birth.
I don’t want to forget the life I had here or the people I met. How best to remember them?
Good memories become more valuable.
I spent six months as a freelance photographer. I wonder how my work will appreciate (or not). I hope I caught good memories for people.