Put it in a box.


When we were growing up, our Mom was a bit of a photo hound.  The precursor to today’s equivalent of the Papparazzi.  Every time we turned around, it seems, good old Mom was taking our picture.

I know I have said it before.  But it was consistently prevalent in our upbringing.  The  usual dates were a given.  Birthdays, First-day-of-schools, Graduations, First Communions, Vacations.  However.  At our home, it went far beyond that.  Chicken Pox, broken arms, turtle findings, new shoes, ice cream cones, bike riding, teeth pullings, pink eye, common colds…. sleeping on the couch…. it JUST didn’t matter.  Snaps.

But Mom was a maven too.  It was a film camera.  So.  The photos were immediately developed, filed in photo albums, labeled and dated.  Like a religion.  And the negatives?  They always went in a shoebox in the cupboard.

And this is what got me thinking…. about  photography and how it mimics life.  Someone said to me today… “Hopefully  you can forgive.  But never forget.”  Is this right?

We got through our every day of days… doing this and that.  And our mind captures memories.  Hopefully, we are diligent enough to file those good and golden memories… the one we want to keep in albums.  The significant memories.  Yes, we call back on them time and again, like pulling a photo album on the shelf.  And bask in the goodness.

But then…. there is the OTHER part of it.  The box of negatives.  I am not sure that we should hang on to the negatives.  Especially a whole box of them.

Yet…as my friend said…. maybe we should keep them…. in some remote way.  You see… with photography, if you keep that negative and expose it to light… you can make a positive image from it… any time you want to.  Again, and again and again.

So… do we throw the negatives completely away?  And keep taking those same photos over and over and over?

Or do we store them on a box… that we can take down off the shelf if we need to.  So that we don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again.  But when we do pull up that negative…. we remember to expose it to the light to turn it into something entirely good.  A good image.

I think memories might be better served that way for me.  So I don’t keep making the same mistakes repeatedly.  I could learn from what was dark and inverted… and turn it into something good.

So then the next time… I can say “Cheese”…. and really mean it.

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce


“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” – Richard Bach



Published by