Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The here and now

My mom sent me pictures in the mail that she found at my grandparents house on Long Island. It's been three years since my grandfather died, and now my grandmother is selling the house and moving to Ithaca to be closer to my parents and brothers. In the process, it's been a lot of sifting through a lifetime of accumulation. Last winter my grandmother gave me all her old dresses, and it's been a steady flow of small things entering my life from somewhere else. I know that they are pertinent to me because my grandmothers life has directly planted the seed for my own, so I find these things dear even if I cant use them. They help me remember things that happened before I was born. I don't remember the day that this picture was taken, but I imagine those are my dad's arms holding me, and that we are at the Bronx zoo. Compositionally, I think this picture is great. It seems like an accident, which makes me feel like it is more true. It's strange for me to relate to portraits of myself, because I am looking at myself in a way I never do in real life. I like this picture because I can relate to this detachment of myself from my feet, to the hugeness of this elephants nose, and the quality of the sun that day, and the chair of my fathers hands. Similarly, I can't really dwell up memories of my grandfather on my own-- but in the same package my mother sent a few pictures of my grandfather and me taken 20 years ago, and they instantly draw to mind memories that may not even have happened. I like photos because they draw up fallible memories from the past through incredibly true emotions in the moment-- they seem to be about a long time ago, but they are so much more related to the here and now of how we perceive the past and our place in it.

No comments: