A Thousand Words Or Just One? – Why we take photographs

Here’s a humorous and inspiring look into why I feel we take photographs.  Are you the person who gets hounded for snapping photos of everything?  Or do people not understand why you keep photo albums?  I learned some lessons looking back at some old photos recently, especially given that I take so many fewer photos than I used to do.

1. I forgot what it was like to measure up…

Measuring UpHow could I have forgotten this moment, when my buddy Jake forced me to stop by a sign at a carnival ride during Fiesta in San Antonio?  There are photos that don’t have an impact on me or photos that make me sad sometimes if they are of someone who is now long gone, but…what about all those wonderful memories set to image – preserved in time that can take me back more vividly than even my over-active imagination?

2. Dressing-up is not over-rated…

CrueKids2These two silly little sisters of mine and I went to a Motley Crue concert years ago…I was in it for Aerosmith (yeees!!), but I had forgotten they were so stoked they went out and got matching air brushed t-shirts of the Crue!  How many other good memories of that night have I forgotten; I can’t even tell you.  Why is it that the mundane and the bad seem to replace so many happy recollections?

3. Safety…always safety…
TrunkMonkey2Yet another photo from that day.  I forgot that my older sister (the one in the trunk) and the other one were goofing around, imitating a “trunk monkey” commercial!  Remember when those first came out?  Where were you?  And does it matter why we act silly from time to time?  Stop for a second and recall some goofiness that made you smile – you’re worth it.

4. Take time to enjoy the obvious…

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It was 2005 and my buddies and I, while in our job training in the Army, snuck away to Las Vegas for the weekend, even though trainees weren’t supposed to leave the state until graduation.  This was around 4am after we’d been up and down “the strip” for hours, and Jake and Matty just realized that it was legal to have open containers…not that they needed any more alcohol at that point!  but they walked into this convenient store just so they could buy a beer and sit on the street and drink it.  It was a weekend of freedom from the rigors we had signed up for and a moment of an extra simple pleasure in life…they looked like two little boys sitting there, content with life.  How many things have the three of us taken for granted since that night?  Where are the 4am or 5 minute simple pleasures we forget to enjoy in life?  Maybe it’s like it was for us and it’s just right around the corner for you too.

5. You’re never too old to have fun…don’t judge people…they can always surprise you!

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I don’t even know when this was, how sad, but it was Christmas night and one of my little sisters got a pogo-stick as a gift.  My father insisted she try it out, acting like a big kid.  It was freezing outside and he was in his dress clothes, after my sister declared it was impossible, he got on and showed us how it was done – my father, a man who rarely smiles.  Cardio and muscle strengthening for him are work, work, and hard work, yet I now have a moment in time to look at where he shocked us all at the kid that lurks inside all of us.  Where do you keep the kid in you?  Has he/she come out to play lately?  The world is only no longer safe if no one’s playing, not because of violence.  Fight back against the gloom by filling the world with your presence, your happiness, and your divine right to go out at midnight and hop on a damned pogo-stick if you want.

They say a photo can be worth a thousand words.  I agree, truly one can, however, they are each saying at least one important word, “remember”.  Remember who you are, who you were, who you wanted to be, what made the world and you good, what made you smile, and remember to revel in it from time to time.

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Drea Damara is the author of The Weeping Books Of Blinney Lane, book reviewer, and blogger of useless information.

 

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