Recently, i helped J clean out a barn after an auction. Tucked next to the door with the remains of a makeshift office of sorts was a Polaroid photo (seen here). There was something so odd about it… a fuzzy image, decades old, of a windmill. No writing, no explanation of what it was that struck the photographer or why the image was important enough to tuck here for viewing. i slid the picture in my pocket then, retrieving it later to snap a photo of it before climbing into J‘s vehicle and driving away. It seemed sad that this image had once meant something but now? Its owner was dead, his belongings auctioned off, and the mystery of the old windmill would remain just that… a mystery.
Then, this weekend, i attended a weekend long kink event (COPE) at which photographs were forbidden. It makes sense… most of us want to keep those private events private. There are jobs at risk, families that might disown, communities that could shun. But things kept happening throughout the weekend that had me commenting… “damn, i wish we had this on tape!” or “i wish i had a picture of this” because i wanted to dig the memories out later… relive them.
But, i guess that even when photos exist… they only serve the most temporary of purposes. Once the person attached to them is gone, they are nothing more than a shadow. What matters, then, is that someone saw this windmill… they admired it, or took pride in it, or attached significance to it. They snapped that image and put it where they’d see it as they went about their woodwork. And they had pleasure in it and that memory. i’ve no photographic evidence of my weekend, but the memories are here… precious… joyous… sexy and oh-so-fun… and i will cherish those memories and the people who shared them.
If you were there… thank you for helping me make those memories. If you were not there, thank you for helping me prepare for the event, or for providing me with the care i needed after.
The here… the now… this space and time i inhabit? It is a good place – film worthy… all of it… even if i can only capture it in still frames in my mind.