Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Keeping of Memories

   It has been two years since I wrote of "Frames" and the pictures I take and keep along this road of life.  It has been even longer, 14 years to be exact, when we opened an account and started a family website for loved ones to post their pictures and keep in touch.  There were photo albums and recipe cards, wedding announcements and birthday wishes.  The site was filled with memories and old pictures.  It was a private vault of family traditions.
    With the coming of technology, Smartphones, Ipads, and Facebook, the site was no longer visited.  The family's presence on the site and each other's lives had waned.  People now keep in touch through little screens and impersonal messages lacking full words or even the courtesy of proper spelling.  Memories are now posted on the Internet for everyone to see, out of focus and fleeting.  Nothing is saved.  Nothing is tangible.
     The lack of interest in maintaining our private family site and the lack of new content being added led to its closing.  Before it faded away, I tried to copy all the pictures and moments and memories to be put in a safe place, to hold on to them to show my kids where they came from and who their family was.  Though it may be acceptable for some, I refuse to allow my children to grow up without history.  To say that some of those kept memories are not important to me would be a lie.  Perhaps it is just me feeling nostalgic, yearning for days gone by, or maybe it is just me seeing the tragedy in forgetting all the things that make us who we are.  There are lives within those frames and stories behind the captured moments and care taken in making sure those moments are saved (in crisp detail).
     I do not buy into the thoughtless posting of quickly forgotten times.  I do not even pretend to understand the need to keep the world up to date with the going-on's of the mundane.  I do not wish to participate in a society of vicarious living through a 2.5 inch screen tethered to my hip.  I need to engage in the creation of my story and intertwine that story with the stories of others.  Everyday I cherish that creation and savor the story and relish the history made.  I fight to capture the moments and do them justice not by hastily throwing them to the wind but by putting them on paper.  I still believe in processing photos so one can hold them and touch them and store them away in shoe boxes.  My closet is full, of pictures, of memories, of history, of life.  As our family website fades, I have become more resolute in my keeping of memories.  Someday someone will want to remember.

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