When Old Pictures Speak

March 16, 2014

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old camera by {Frl.Klein} on Flickr

old camera by {Frl.Klein} on Flickr


I have two major bogies still outstanding before the starting pistol fires on Friday at 6pm: A video and a speech. They are two of the biggest moments of the weekend, and, yet, here I am on Sunday night at 10:45pm starting on them.

It’s not like I was procrastinating – I just really didn’t know what I was going to do or say. I kept waiting for the right vision or the right phrase or the right muse or the right hallucination to hit me so I could go, “YES! That’s what it needs to look like or sound like.”

10:47 on Sunday night, that showed up.

I’ve spent the better part of the day and night trolling through picture archives across three different laptops, and several boxes of pictures. I’ve stumbled across things I’d forgotten about, things that made me laugh, things that made me cry, and things that took my breath away.

You have to be careful when you scavenge through pictures. You never know what you might trip over. You never know what two-by-four is waiting around the next click. What memory is waiting to whisper to you.

The important pictures have captions. Words that will forever be associated with those images.

“What do I do with her?”
“It will never be better than this.”
“Please, G-d, let her be okay.”
“Nobody knows about this place – but now we do.”
“It should have been me.”

You hear the words in your head the minute you see them. You couldn’t turn off the sound if you tried. It’s just the way some pictures are. Some of them are loud – and I’m really glad they yell at me. Some are a reminder not to make the same mistake again.

For all the pictures I do have, there are some I wish I had. Moments never captured. Those are a reminder, too: Make sure you don’t miss that opportunity again.

Because a year from now, you’ll have a different set of pictures to look at – just make sure you focus.

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