As you get older, photo albums become museum exhibits, each page containing an increasing number of people who’ve departed. From life to history, exchanged laughter to memory, photos measure our metamorphosis into two-dimensional objects, even as our minds scramble to keep the growing blank spaces filled in.
One day, if we are lucky, loving hands will choose our picture to honor a place in their album. We’ll sit in frozen repose, our life encapsulated inside a rectangular slice of paper. Maybe someone will look at our features and shed a tear for our passing and perhaps even laugh uproariously as we are remembered in our glory of ridiculousness.
In time, though, even those hands will succumb to frailty and find their own place in an album chosen by another friend or family member. We are each a link in the perpetual chain of human memory.
This is not a call-to-action, nor another “carpe diem.” Rather, it’s a call-to-inaction.
I ask you to sit in silence and look at the arc of your life, one measured in mirth, connections in time, and moments. It’s impossible to reflect on one’s own life without appreciating the immensity of days most of us have been given. Each passes us by, though, and afterward, we are left to wonder how they slithered past.
Your series of rectangles will wait there for you, somewhere in the nebulous fog of time, even if you reach then unprepared.
We ask for things when moments always suffice.
P.S. This is a picture I took years ago, in 2006. I was feeding the ducks and the half-submerged and hesitant turtles lurking near the bank of the pond. The lady and boy were visiting. While it was her clothing which caught my attention, it was the incredible wit of the young boy who stole the moment. He was a delight and my wife kneeled down to discuss important matters of zoology with him. I didn’t snap a picture because I was overwhelmed by the interesting people and moment. I don’t remember any other details about the encounter, except that it was a late Monday afternoon.