My Life Without Photographs
I was reading in the New York Times the other day that the more we tell a story, the more we change the details. In other words, the truest representation of the “facts” of an event are when we tell the story the first time. After that,the details all get murkier and murkier or, as is the case with most humans, more and more
embellished and exaggerated.
This is, I suppose, why humans take so many photographs. Or at least, that’s my theory. They know, even if they don’t want to admit it, that their memories are malleable and impermanent. A photograph, they think, will sear the details into something tangible and solid, something not so illusive and annoyingly deceptive as memory.
This is also why, I suppose, Gretchen is so upset that 1) she still hasn’t found her camera battery charger and 2) has had a very difficult time locating one. In fact, we’ve been to parts of this city I never knew existed searching for the battery charger that appears to be no longer in use.
I find this very perplexing. We bought the camera only 2 years ago and for some reason, the batteries, which I might add are exactly the same as the current model of the camera, require a special kind of charger and while camera shops around town might have the batteries, they don’t have the chargers. This makes absolutely no sense to me (or to Gretchen, for that matter) and so we’ve resorted to trying to purchase one online.
But this has proven difficult as well because the exact model must fit “H” type batteries and while we can find an abundance of chargers that fit A B C D E F G and I, we struggled to find H. Go figure.
But this has also proven to make my life (and my work) feel rather empty of late. Every morning I get up, put on my leash, and head out the door in anticipation of meeting up with my canine clients. I know there are some past photographs where I look bored with the whole “posing” scenario and I know our computer contains over 20,000 photographs (most of me and my friends), but I kind
of miss reviewing my week in pictures.
And what, then, does NOT recording my life in photographs do to my memories of the past week? How does an absence of digital photographic evidence alter the stories I tell?
These are the questions I’m pondering and while you see photos of the dogs we walked this week on this blog, please know they are
only representations. They do not, by any means, capture this week’s stories/memories that ranged from thrilling to annoying, glorious sunny to miserably rainy. No photos of soggy dogs hunched together under the umbrella of a cedar tree or happy pupssplashing in the lake on our one warm, sunny day. No photos of me sleeping, no photos of my friends romping, no photos of the spring flowers or the snowy (yes, still snowy) mountains. No photos of rain dripping from every surface and corner or the brief, but glorious sun shimmering off of the puddles (and poodles).
For the fear that I might alter these memories past the point of recognition, I am refraining from telling the stories lest the details morph or transpose themselves into something not quite as pure and remembered as each day of my life. Instead, I will hold these stories behind the squinted eyes of my memory and hope that soon the correct camera battery charger comes in the mail so that I might capture the beauty of my life frame by frame.
Cross your paws everyone!
PS: Here are more photos of May not circa-2011…