I spent last weekend and today sorting through my slides and through boxes of photos deciding what to send to be scanned. I decided that this box would be my personal images–not family photos. What I discovered is that these photos taken over thirty years, primarily of my few major travels, touched me in a way that looking at my family photos does.
Since the pictures haven’t yet been scanned I won’t show in this blog what pictures touched me in what way. I will address that once I get the digital files back in February.
The first batch was from school–photos of college and grad school friends and photos of me with various boyfriends. There were a few old boyfriends who I’d rather forget so I won’t scan photos of them, but I noticed that for the most part I feel a fondness for the men who I dated and chose to include them. I felt the sweetness of the initial love and forgot the pain when the relationship ended. I thought of the good and the bad; noticed how handsome I still think they are; and appreciated them for the good men that they are even though things didn’t work out between us.
Looking From My Heart
As I looked again at some of the non-family photos my father shot, I noticed how much more appreciation I had for these glimpses of history. I enjoyed seeing the changes in San Diego over fifty years.
When I got to my shots of neon signs taken in the 1980’s I realized that most of these signs are gone — there are few neon signs left. I love neon. There’s something about the colorful light that brings me joy. In fact, when I first began havingÂ experiences that brought me to my spiritual process it was through seeing neon in my minds eye. It’s something that is deeply in my heart.
The next group were travel photos taken in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, the Northwest, Japan, England, the Mid-Atlantic States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The first thing I noticed is how much my heart opened when I looked at photos of Mesa Verde and other Anasazi sites. There is a part of me who feels strong ties to these people. When I worked at Colorado Historical Society I was in charge of an exhibit on Mesa Verde and also of the move of the Society’s collection of Anasazi pottery and other artifacts. When I worked on both the move and the exhibit I felt held. Nothing broke during the move, nothing was lost, everything went well.
As I looked at these photos I thought of my 3rd grade project on Navajos and of the trip I made in 1981 to the Four Corners. I’m going to return to Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon in 2013 and am looking forward to reconnecting to this area that means so much to me.
Conversely, when I looked at photos of a trip to England and trip to the mid-Atlantic States I noticed only the quality of the photos. Those places don’t touch me. What I noticed was that many pictures were good compositions that I didn’t notice when I first took them. There were a number of good photos, but none had a hook to my heart. I selected some to digitize, but I’ll probably never use them.