August 19, 2010

Two Peter Pans


In my last post I claimed a disinterest in associating nostalgia with objects.  This does not hold true for me when it comes to photographs.

I discovered a younger version of our family recently when going through an old photo album.  I paused at a Polaroid of my son in preschool holding three teddy bears.  I was reminded of a time when he openly expressed affection for stuffed animals and didn't want to leave my side.

The stuffed animals are piled in a corner now, starved for attention.  I know their pain.

Someday I will look back at this photograph and it will become a substitute for the memory - -  a reminder of my boys dazed at a hot summer day's end, their two bodies at rest on my bed.  A wistful trip to Neverland when I was Tinker Bell, sprinkling digital ephemera for fairy dust.

August 11, 2010

Let Go

My footwear prevented me from walking much beyond the deck of my cousins' yard.  Although they do not live deep in the woods my cousins hunt and gather.  They have spent years combing through yard sales and flea markets happening upon the perfect metal serving tray or antique board game.  They have been trying to pare down to sell their home.  No one wants to buy a house with the personal effects included, so the majority will be have to be jettisoned or placed into storage, I suppose.

Objects can have symbolic and sometimes sacred value.  Through them, we long affectionately for the remote places we once occupied.  Many people find comfort in objects for this reason, but I do not.  So I clean and clear, getting rid of things that lack resonance and cause me distraction.  I do not wish to be held hostage emotionally by nostalgia.  I choose grit over sentimentality.  I let go.