Wednesday, April 3, 2024

All We Know

I texted Detective Deckard last night.  I thought to say that I guessed the case of the stolen cameras had gone to the dead letter file, but then I thought again.  There was nothing to be gained by that, so I merely asked if there was any update.  He called.  He said he was driving and that I should send him another text so that he would remember to check and see if the prints had come back yet in the morning.  


I stayed level-headed and merely did what I was requested to do.  I wanted to ask how many other burglaries he guessed this fellow might have committed in the past months, but again, that would have been rhetorical and unproductive.  

What do I seek?  Justice?  

Maybe.  I would sure like to get my money back.  I am going to write that big IRS check today.  

I've struggled with writing this morning.  The images seem wrong, the words don't flow.  As I go through the old photo files, I realize how much is lost, how much forgotten, then a picture brings it back.  Even something as inane as this. 

I would never think of this again, I am certain, but as soon as I see the photo, I remember where I was, what I was thinking, how I felt. . . . I remember saying, "This is a pretty dumb photo, but it is nice."  

And this one, hours later and miles away.  I remember walking onto the property and hoping not to be confronted by some condo owner wanting to know what I was doing.  There is no reason for the photo.  I knew that when I took it.  But. . . .

So now, yea. . . that day is locked in, an inconsequential day but a lovely day nonetheless.  

There are other pictures I am struggling with, other memories.  We are shaped by memories, aren't we, our pasts shaping our futures?  Details fade, but there they are in photos.  The shirt.  The meal.  A decoration you had forgotten.  She in a gift you have given or vice versa.  For most of us, unless we are war correspondents or documentarians of human suffering, photographs are not taken in times of strife.  We don't pick up a camera during an argument.  Mostly we document the pretty and happy things.  And then, much later, looking back, sometimes the photographs are a measurement of loss.  

I have not been making photos of "my life" so much these past few years.  Cocktails and meals and cats excluded.  When I look at recent photos, they look like this. 

Not all of them, but many are bleak, dark, or menacing. Many are partial and fragmented.  

Garbage cans and gutters, headless people. . . nightmares.  

This is something to consider.  What memories are these, what feelings are engendered in them?  I want to tell happier stories.  There are photographs of a seemingly wonderful life.  But I hesitate.  For every story we tell, there is another version.  If I've learned nothing else in life. . . .

So. . . we are left with what?  Photos of objects, pictures of strangers.  Selfies in shop windows and mirrors.  

I don't want all the lovely, lost things to disappear, to vanish into the void.  I am struggling.  Perhaps I am wrong.  Maybe there is trouble in the graven image.  

All we know is what we remember.  All we remember is what we know.  

I'll have to think about it.  

I'll let you know.  

No comments:

Post a Comment