THE BEAUTY OF MEMORIES
[O]n a recent trip home to Australia, I was asked by my mother to go through the family photos and work out with my siblings, who wanted what photos. With my hand-luggage (aka camera gear, laptop etc) already at the upper limits of acceptability for most airlines, the last thing I needed was to be adding more items to be transported back to London. I also couldn’t bear the pain of squabbling over beloved photos with my siblings.
I decided the best solution was to embark upon scanning the seemingly never ending supply of family photos onto my parent’s computer. This took the best part of 2 weeks, in and around family commitments, but brought back a lifetime of memories. There’s something amazing about how a simple snapshot in time, can bring back so many different memories of feelings, emotions, friendships and conversations. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on where I was at in that moment in time and where I am now, and what decisions I have made (or not) along the way.
At times this process was surreal, looking at photos and reconnecting with a forgotten moment in my life, but throughout, I found it very life affirming. This was especially poignant as the purpose of my visit was to say my goodbyes to my ailing grandmother. The most fascinating photos for me were those old photos of my grandparents and great-grandparents – formal portraits and fleeting snapshots of families and events long since passed. I gained a stronger sense of connection to my family and a better idea of where I’m from.
Looking at almost 5 thousand images demonstrated, to me, how important photographs are in evoking memories, providing a connection to a person or a moment in time, and illustrating a personal/family history – so, so powerful.
Here are a few of my favourites. What are your favourite or most treasured photos?