I’m a photographer. I got my first camera in my stocking when I was 8 and the first think I did was taking a picture of my little brother playing with the airplane he got in his stocking out in my grandparent’s front yard. My grandparents are both gone and so is that house. My brother died in 2005 and that is the only picture that I know of, of him that Christmas. That is a memory because I have that picture it will never go away.
I had a brain injury from 2 car accidents in 1995 and 1996. One was a head on collision caused by a drunk driver on the freeway and the other from a woman who ran a red light and rolled my car over another car 3 times ending up upside down after climbing a light pole. I have holes in my memories but if I have a photograph I can literally walk back into that time and remember almost everything about it where that had been no memory the minute before and some of my memories are gone forever.
Lately I have seen several posts putting down people who take pictures of everything and yes, some of those pictures are pretty silly but those pictures mean something to the person that took them. And what if you have a brain injury tomorrow and your life is gone? You can make fun of the people who take those pictures but all those pictures are a record.
I cherish the photographs I have of my brother and the rest of my family. I cherish the photos of my furry companions that are over the rainbow bridge. I love all the photos I have of the Hieromum and Lady Olivia who both are gone now. I cherish all the camp photos that I have that help other people to remember the good times we had together. I cherish every moment I record in nature because someday I may not be physically able to go out to those places. I cherish being able to remember what friends looked like back before we got heavier and grayer, before some of them had chemo or injuries, back when we athletic and beautiful. I cherish every photo of a friend’s wrinkles and scars and the wisdom that is hidden there. I cherish every faire pic, every ritual photo, every event we did as a minute of pagan history over the last 30 years. It allows me to remember in love.
So it’s very nice to say don’t take the picture and just be in the moment but sometimes being in the moment can be captured in pixels and celluloid and not just in neurons and sometimes the neurons are injured and the pixels and celluloid is all that is left. And if a lot of someones in my family hadn’t felt that way too I wouldn’t have pictures from the 1800’s of my ancestors. I wouldn’t have the only picture of a grandmother I never knew who died after the 1917 flu epidemic. I wouldn’t have my dad’s photos of Europe in WWII.
So again, I will take pictures and if you don’t like them, don’t look at them.