I was going through old pictures

I was going through old pictures. Today. And I realized how enormous our collections are. Anyone with a digital camera can now take nearly endless number of pictures. Some are bad pictures, some are absolutely memorable. Memories digitized into pictures. And life stories meshed into the images. The pictures certainly brought back the stories connected with each picture. I even shared some of the pictures with some people. And I wrote, “those happy days.” That is the fallacy. Indeed, they were happy days, but why do we have a tonal of lamentation in that statement. It is as if those days will not return. Certainly, some will not, the conversations with my parents at AC 140 and pictures that captured those moments will not come back. But there are many moments, memorialized in pictures, that are fountainheads of expectations. Yes, surely, we have the memories. But those memories set up the expectations for the future. If we had it once, the moments, the relationships, then why can we not have them again? I wonder, and it is up to us to sustain those moments. Pictures are about relationships, and they memorialize those moments of friendship. Those pictures should remind us of what we had and what we perhaps hold on to. The moments of heartbreak come when the pictures remind you of lost relationships. Those moments people spent together and then they chose to let the moments go. In the digital age this is everywhere. Scrolling back through messages on WhatsApp one sees how relationships change. Some wither and some grow. The pictures become testaments to those moments. As I looked through the pictures, all neatly time stamped, I am really reminded that we have to work to keep the relationships captured in the pictures. If we lose the relationships, it is then that the pictures become merely memories. Whereas if the pictures energize us, then we ensure that the relationships go on, forever, unchanged, and are nourished by the picture that captured what was and signals to us what must be in the future. But it is not just pictures, it the words we say, the emojis we use, the frequency with which we say. All captured forever in tweets, emails, and WhatsApp messages. It could bring a tear to your eyes to see how things change, and it could urge you to recover what might have been lost. As long as there is a will to relive the memories, so carefully captured, there is a hope to regain what we had. This is why the pictures, the messages, the trail of conversations become vital to me. Through those we remember what we once had, and those offer the tools to continue to maintain what we had. Just like old pictures faded, so can relationships, unless we look at the fading pictures and we realize that there is something to hold on to. Some things are too precious to simply be framed away in pictures, some pictures must be created over and over again. Some WhatsApp messages must be sent over and over again to ensure that the memories simply do not become memories. In that work we sustain relationships, and, in that work, we make relationships grow. Today, the digital pictures do not fade, they can be found anytime and just looking at them has a value in my life. Tucked away in our Google drives and Facebook posts lies our life, one that need not fade, one that could be sustained, and it is eventually up to us. Expect more, work for more, and offer more. Don’t say, “those” happy days, as I did. Rather say, “these” happy days and many more Kodak moments to come and many more WhatsApp emojis to exchange. It is easy to make things disappear, but I wish we all strive for what Barry Manilow said, “Let the memory live again.”


Comments

Sourish Choudhury said…
Excellent!! We always try to create memories but it is also important to recreate and relive them!!
Unknown said…
I can this is by far my favourite among all your blogs. Loved the reference of faded pictures and something to hold on to. Beautifully composed ❤️
Many thanks, I wish I knew who "unknown" was, if possible let me know. You can send a provate email to ananda@wfu.edu or a WhatsApp to +13367456267. Thanks for your comments, Sourish and Unknown

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