Monday, July 27, 2009

Pictures part 1.

"When I started living with Dad, I started to notice how many pictures he took. He never seemed to be apart from his little disposable cameras. Every time we went to Safeway, he made a quiet detour to the photo counter to either pick up or drop off pictures. I saw them in envelopes around the house. Stacks of images of the Seattle skyline; loving pictures of the lake from his beach; his aide, Del smiling as he loaded groceries into his car. There were a lot of pictures of Del, as if Dad was trying particularly to imprint Del permanently onto the world, which wasn’t surprising as in two years Del had become my father’s best friend. Del was his touchstone, a stocky, stalwart constant in an ever more confusing world, and the only person who could keep up with him on his marathon walks.
I supposed the pictures were his memorybook, another way to remember what was going on around him. I wondered if he thought that by looking through the view of a camera, he could freeze the moment onto his mind as well as onto the blank celluloid canvas. A photographer for as long as I could remember, he used to use much more sophisticated equipment than a cardboard camera. That was all gone, now, relegated to some forgotten closet in the house. I think he stopped taking pictures because he would have been forced to admit that he enjoyed it and was good at it; that he was actually prepared to give precious time to something that was only a hobby, and not work."

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