May 22, 2012

all this sentimentality

a couple of weeks ago, i started thinking about photographs and how much i miss holding actual photos in my hand and flipping through albums but also how i keep most of our physical photos tucked away neatly (or not neatly) in photo boxes.

i eventually became too busy or too whatever to make the time to update our albums much less start new ones. my youngest children are 3 and 6 and i haven't finished their baby books. my oldest is 16 and because i was 16 when he was born, i always judged and criticized his baby book because that was very much the time in my life when i just didn't think anything i did was good enough. several years ago i found the same, discontinued, hallmark baby book on ebay in the hopes of copying everything from the original to the new, blank one, with better penmanship and a rainbow of colors from prettier pens. let me repeat, he is 16. it's still not done.

i sort of suck at this which is why i have hoarded scrapbooking supplies that i've had for a dozen years, still in their original packages. i've purged lots and i resist the temptation to buy all the paper things but that's because i have unfinished albums, baby books, and a wedding album that go untouched for months, even years, at a time.

the other day i sat in my car while it poured outside and started writing in a notebook that i cannot find at the moment. i was writing about photos and how digital photography has, in some ways, made sharing photos easier. i mean, instagram and hipstamatic are so fab that it's like all my highschool dork girl dreams come true. you mean, i can take a photo of all the random crap i love, make it look all magical and shroomy, and then show the world?! like right now?!?! yes, please.

i was more focused, however, on how digital photography has also made sharing memories somewhat more difficult. that reminscent "good ol' days" feeling that photo albums used to bring me is gone. now all our photos are stored on hard drives and in photo boxes and they're easier to forget. while writing, i went on this tangent about how keeping my photos safe, but difficult to access, was my way of suppressing all my pent-up sentimentality. and now i'm gonna go on this tangent because that reminded me of the term sloppy sentimentality, which was the basis and title of a poem i once wrote based on a conversation with a guy i was seeing at the time. he'd used it while criticizing love and other things. years later, i found that bukowski had used the term in a book i had but i really don't think his name had come up in the conversation. it was one of the moments where i felt that kinship among certain other creatives that seem to leave notes for each other throughout time. but moving along...

and getting back to that whole facing my fears thing, the conclusion i came to after writing my little heart out is that i am afraid of losing everything that i love. on some level we all are and i hear the universe's resounding, "duhhhh." i mean, we all have to learn to walk with grace, though a life we know is temporary, but some of us have a really hard time revelling in the good parts without worrying that something bad is going to happen next.


this is why i don't make a priority out of sorting, organizing, and displaying my photos. i do value them but almost so much that it hurts and it's just easier to leave them tucked away. i can use the excuse that i don't have the time but it's more correct to say that i don't make the time. it is also true that i miss the tangibility of actual photos and the feeling of putting a fresh roll of film in a camera, watching the number of remaining shots change, and the sweet anticipation of waiting for it to be developed, even if i paid extra for one-hour processing. it's just not the same after uploading and editing a shit ton of images that i was able to see immediately then had to upload again before i could go pick them up at costco. not the same at all, so much so that i can't even remember the last time i printed the equivalent of a roll.

earlier today, when i started this post, i asked pea if he'd seen my notebook because i know i had taken it out of my purse at some point (since it wasn't in there). he found it a short while later, by chance, on our homeschooling bookshelf, tucked in, by the learn to draw manga books. because that makes sense. sometimes i think i'm too disorganized for my own good. then i remember i live with small children. and fairies.

i am done with this wayward and long-winded ramble but i have my notebook, so there will be follow-up to this post. because you better believe there's more. SO much more i want to say. sigh. i don't actually "talk too much" anymore but i sure can get it out in other ways, like the typing into the ether. blah blah blah.

so, here's to unfinished rambles. i leave you with a digital piece i made when i first started playing with photoshop because it's sort of on topic. and because i'm weird.


  1. I agree! I started scrapbooking, but still haven't finished chronicling the book that was supposed to represent year 3-4. MY daughter is 6 and I have such a guilt about not really wanting to finish it....or start any others. I want to remember everything, but, at the same time, don't want to spend all my hours focusing on the past. I want to do stuff that makes me happy...and I find pictures of my girl growing up too fast just makes me sad....for it means I can't deny how fast I am growing older, too.

    I didn't have her til I was 33...yep, I'm old :)

  2. exactly!!1 i thought that when i spent 9wasted) almost ten hours making a godblessed photo book on i was SO pissed that i was resenting the process of creating something to be cherished. not sure if it's because i'm also disillusioned and think i'll be the only one to cherish it (and there's nothing with that) or what, but i was like, i should be doing stuff with my kids not editing this darn book!

    and you're not old, i'm 33 now but i started way early and feel like an old lady. you're in good company!

  3. ..." i can take a photo of all the random crap i love, make it look all magical and shroomy, and then show the world?! like right now?!?! yes, please. "

    trufax. me too.

  4. hi!
    thank you so much for the comment!
    so happy to connect!

    peace. kelly


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