Holding Onto Stuff

I’m going through all of the stuff I’ve stuffed into bags and boxes that chronicles my life — photos, published articles — and lots of stuff from my kids’ past. I”m winding up with a pile of photos I’m going to toss out, and most of them are of scenery from vacations etc. I can see why I took the photos in the first place –something about the esthetics of the sandy vistas, the roiling surfs, the craggy drops, the abstract lines of the masts of the houseboat.
But I find that what’s meaningful to me now are the photos of people, including myself, that trigger the memories that I want to keep. Here are two of my favorites: my son (b!X) at about five years old on our family trip to Washington D.C., when his career goal was to drive an intergalactic garbage scow; and me at Versailles. I have plenty of photos of the palace and grounds that I’m tossing away. Seeing me there, wearing the leather jacket I had (the week before) bought on London’s Carnaby St. and the jeans I bought on the Left Bank in Paris, brings back sensory memories of that rainy day and the excitement of that once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
I wonder if other people my age have that same reaction — it’s the images of faces, not just simply places, that re-awaken the sweet details of memory.

5 thoughts on “Holding Onto Stuff

  1. I wanna be you when I grow up. What’s even cooler (I think) are those pictures of you at faraway places. Only a girl can dream, but a woman can act. My favorite picture as of late, is one tucked away in my wallet.

  2. Yes. Later on, I like photos of people (& animals) best, though scenery is often more tempting at the time. The two your posted here are precious!
    Must get back to shoveling (the dogs can only get about 2 feet from the door before they turn around).

  3. I love reading you writings, Elaine! You know, when I was playing with my camera, back in university, my mom kept telling me that the most interesting pictures were those of people, that the rest were all postcards. I, of course, disagreed with her, and kept taking roll after roll of cats, ruins and the like.
    Now I agree. And I do wish I had my few pictures with me.
    Although I still love the ones with cats 🙂

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