Long time, no blog. I know.
I spent the past week with my family, which was both wonderful and chaotic. All of us share in the dichotomy of experiences that come from spending a week with your clan. The beautiful times and also the uncomfortable ones.
What interests me though is how we relate to these events in the past tense. How we reflect on the occurrences when they are over, after the fact. One thing that will alter your memory beyond measure will be the photographs that you make at the event itself. These seemingly benign images will stick in your brain and become the pivotal moments of the event- at least according to your memory. A week of life lived will be abbreviated into the one snapshot of you wearing your cousin's dress holding a bundt cake to your mouth pretending to eat the whole thing in one go. No matter that you had a wonderful heart to heart conversation with your aunt, or that your brother came out to your marine corps dad, or whatever. No, that will be the week that you dressed in drag to eat a whole cake. That is the hierarchy of memory. Memory pushed by imagery that is.
Sometimes I do not take any photographs of a place, for fear of ruining it (Badlands, South Dakota). Sometimes I make images of a place that come out way more interesting than it really is (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). I also have a complete memory of visiting a small island in the Northeastern United States that is just fantastic! Unfortunately, I found out recently, I have never been there. Someone else had though- they told me about it in great detail and they had a really nice picture.
No matter what though, images alter our recollections of time and place- regardless of your intent. I find that amazing and more than a little disturbing...
Talk to you soon,
P.S. I made a lot of photographs of my family with an infrared camera, I wonder what future generations will make of my time in Myrtle Beach. -g