On Nostalgia, Forwardly

I’m in the middle of a project – and by that I mean I’ve begun something but I have no idea where it’s going to take me – and I thought I’d share a little bit with you:

I spend a lot of time discussing the importance of family, but I don’t spend all that much time talking about my childhood. I wonder if we all lose memories as time goes on. The way we remember is unique, of course, and memories are different for each of us.

For me, memories are a glimpse, like a single photograph stored that will stand in for an entire afternoon. That stagnant picture is often directly correlated to the most emotionally charged moment, be it placid contentment or raucous shouting. Those pictures in my head bring emotions to the surface, but any really tangible details are often swept away, long gone.

My most beloved childhood memories are usually moments of solitude: climbing the apple tree in the backyard to read a book, coloring while listening to a book on tape, digging in the garden.

It’s interesting to see these pictures, and now I understand why photographs are so very important to people. Photographs are the memories we neglected to make, or have lost, or can’t find. Photographs bring us back, jolting us into a moment that our brain may not be able to recall.

When my brother was about 17 – I was in college – he had our favorite picture made into a giant canvas. It now hangs above the mantel in my mother’s family room.

It’s this one:

My favorite thing about my baby pictures is the faces that I make. I’m always moving, or laughing, or making a silly face.

My love of books and distaste for pants is not a new thing.


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