Monday, December 04, 2006

Why is it so hard to get rid of Pictures?

I was discussing my progress on getting rid of my personal history with a friend today when we came across the subject of pictures. It seems I'm making headway emotionally and mentally, however, I'm having difficulty with the tangible aspects such as pictures. I try not to get too nostalgic or too sentimental, but I do have a tendency to keep things I probably no longer need but, nonetheless, hold a special place in my heart. I cannot help my fondness for certain letters, small tokens that serve as reminders, or for those sneaky and glossy little bastions of my past. As I sat hovering over "the container," I could not help but laugh at the snippets of time caught in a flash and showcased on shiny paper. Each glimpse tells a story about my life, and each moment caught by someone surely has some importance, right? I hang on to these for a reason, for a hope, or is it in vain? Someone certainly will want to see me at age three all decked out in a very fashionable pink jumper suit with HUGE sunglasses and a cap that is too big while posing for Nana in the door, no? Or is it just a reminder not to take myself so seriously? (since then, I have hung the picture up in an effort to humor and embarrass myself, all in good fun of course.) Do I keep these mementos as proof of the people and places I have touched or have touched me? After all, I cannot take the 4 x 6s with me in the end. Why do we need proof of our existence, of the people we love or once loved, of the places we have been, of the events in which we participated? Why is it so hard to get rid of pictures?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

May I see the picture of you in the jumper?

cupcake said...

And incriminate myself? I think not.

Delphi said...

personal history? Someone has beed reading The Zahir...

pictures are not vain. some people need different proofs of their existence and experiences.

In the same way one may rehash their 'story' over and over and over again, one might snap a photo. two methods. same intent. intent, that is the key word. why do you tell your history or snap a picture to document it?

cupcake said...

Last night, I went through all my pictures and realized why I keep them: to remember how much fun I have had over the years. While I did get rid of most of them, I did keep the important ones.

Chris said...

Well, I think one reason people are fascinated by photographs is that they are perceived as somewhat permanent. Many photographs, properly stored, will long outlast the photographer who took the picture, or the subjects that are depicted. In some way, a photograph is sort of immortal.

They serve as visual documents-- reminders, and when viewed by others raise questions about the scenario surrounding the photo. Who is in the picture? Why were they there? What was going on? Why did somebody take this photo? What is just outside the photo's borders? To those of us directly involved with the photo, most of these questions are easily answered. But someday, somewhere, long after everyone surrounding that photo is gone, a relative, a friend, or even an historian may come upon that photograph and wonder...

cupcake said...

oooh, that is really good. I like it :)