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Saving Memories

09/11/2007

While by and large I subscribe to the belief that most things –boxes, bags, etc- purchased to organize stuff is, in and of itself, more stuff needing more organization and that it’s wiser to get rid of than to hide away, it became clear to me as I dug through my own clutter that I had to make an exception:

Photo-lanche.
Photo-lanche.

They were everywhere, so much so that I’d swear I’ve discovered the secret photo breeding grounds of ancient photography-hobbyist lore. They were stuck between the pages of books, languishing in old paper piles, taped to walls and magnet-ed to fridges. They were spread across disparate and inadequate photo albums and, when the picture slots in said albums filled, jammed between the pages until the albums could no longer properly shut. Something had to be done, and this required I turn back on my “we’re getting rid of things, not buying new things” rule.

I am not scrap booking, I swear. I have not picked up a new hobby in the midst of trying to simplify my old ones. As long as I can resist stickers and pretty printed papers and those little punch doohickeys that turn your pretty paper corners into lace and all, I am not scrap booking. I am organizing.

This is what organization looks like.
This is what organization looks like.

I want this to stay simple because the pictures are the important part, not the pages they’re attached to. No complex layouts and layers for me, no sir, and thus I feel confident in my assertion that I am not scrapbooking. I am organizing. Really. Organization, you see, is really a very messy process.

Front Page
Front Page

I’ve actually wanted to put something like this together since my uncle died a few years back. At his funeral I, who has never found comfort or even deferential nostalgia in the cold formality of a funeral hall, saw more of my uncle in his plan and simple photo albums than in all the eulogies from crying relatives and friends combined, not to mention the stiff and impersonal flesh left behind. Do not throw me a funeral. Donate my body to science so some undergraduate can suffer a pre-exam panic attack over my remains just as I’ve been doing for the last week, over other kind strangers, and spend the money you save on the good things in life: take a trip, throw a party, drink a beer for me. And if you need something to look at and remember me, well hell: I do take a lot of pictures.

My reasons for doing this are not as morbidly lofty as I make them sound –really, it’s the whole “if I step on one more picture in this room I’m going to burn it down” imbroglio that got me started- but I can at least attribute the first spark of the idea to my uncle. Thanks.

(My first anatomy exam, by the way, is over for good or ill, and I’m off to Rilo Kiley tonight in celebration. Cheers!)

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