During this quarantine I have had more time to spend with my family, that is really nice now with my small children. I can sense even better their wondering, their surprises and joys when seeing something new. Also getting pleasure out of something simple like a plane, a crane or an insect. How rules don’t apply for how close the sky is, if you can grasp the clouds, or why you should not place your feet on the table. How everything but falling is a source of joy.
This of course has made me think of my own childhood, my memories on being a child, but most of all, my own mortality.
Some of my memories have the vivid memory of remembering the action of wanting to remember it (take that Shakespeare!), like being in the car of my grandmother, driving in the morning in Bogota and not wanting to forget it. Or waiting for the school bus at a stop on street 76 at 6 am while listening to the blackbirds, wanting not to forget it.
And that wanting to remember, is the bit that has been puzzling me, why all of the sudden I get it. That message of “this is important, pay attention” coming from within my heart, soul or who knows where, perhaps, and most probably not even from inside of me.
This brings me to a promise that I did to myself of never stop hearing that voice when a picture asks me to take it, and let’s say I have kept my promise 80% of the time. However, when looking through my “archive”, I started noticing how those memories that I wanted to remember are not there, only the photos that asked me to be taken. As if there were two categories or as if I could not do both at the same time, use my memory of it and the medium of the camera for it.
We are all going to die, and without being dramatic or days are counted, some have less some have more. I still think of the hours that remained after saying goodbye to my father here at the airport, and how the vivid memory of wanting to remember his embrace, grasps me still, down to my core. I did not know it back then, but I also took a last portrait of him, although photographing him was for me really difficult. The picture remains, but the feeling that I have from his last embrace is something that I wish I could be able to communicate.
Will my pictures reignite memories in my children? Will they be deleted, I don’t care much as long as they make them happy at least once, once more.