Cookies and Capacitors

Just another memory

Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 10:04PM

For the entireness of my life I have been taught, and genuinely thought, that technological advancements better mankind. Once-tedious tasks can now be executed quicker and with less hassle due to rapidly improving market segments and mass manufacturing. Despite streamlining technology, the enjoyment and sentimentality of once enjoyed hobbies are hastily disappearing, especially in the most common forms of modern communication: writing, film, and most effusively to myself, photography. Proudly, I record my most dear memories on film in hopes of fascinating my great-great-grandchildren.

Embroidered in every human is the instinct to document ­ to leave our legacies lest the future forget. Film remarkably portrays an unfortunately limited amount of memories. Wisely, I must choose to record my most precious accounts in thirty-six exposures or less. Restraint from logging every minuscule detail–an interesting-looking cloud or a tree’s bare branches–makes my memories much more treasurable. Sentimentality is a hefty percent of yet-to-become nostalgia, tangibility being the rest.

Each bodacious photograph I take is permanently preserved on a gently wound piece of plastic which offers unsurpassed security. I am honored to have strolled through an experience-lined avenue where my great-ancestors left their prized instances of life. Fortunately, photographs preserved these cherished moments.

Once, in my younger days, I inquired my grandfather pertaining to his childhood and where mine differed from his. A minute moment passed before Grandpa Raymond rose from his lounge chair and rushed down the basement staircase. Closely following him, I watched him pull a yellowing cardboard box from the topmost shelf. Slowly, my grandfather moved the musty, old box to a table and flipped the switch to an overhead fluorescent lamp. While I leered over the table’s edge, he un-nestled another box from the cardboard one, albeit wooden and more blemished. I marveled over the piles of pictures that he pulled out; all were black and white, while most had silly annotations written by cheeky commenters.

“My God, I haven’t seen these since in over thirty years,” said my grandfather, longing for his prior existence.

Both of us gawked at the aging photographs while my grandfather recited rousing boyhood tales. Apparently my lazy Grandpa Raymond became intoxicated by an overwhelming drug called nostalgia. While he envied his adolescence, a time where that fluorescent lamp did not even exist, I already made plans to have equally exciting times, if not more outrageous.

That Christmas, by grandparents gave me a dinky 110-film camera. The prints developed horribly, but the principles breathed with life and awaited to be nurtured. Never in my life, to this day, have I received a more meaningful gift; my heart warms every time I recollect that inspiring moment. More-so, he didn’t gift a camera but an open bank account filled with opportunities to deposit rare proofs of my existence. Grandpa Raymond wanted my grandchildren to appreciate me like I did to him. His warmth moves me the most.

Impatiently, I await the captivating stories my grandchildren will hear. My incredible mementos will be stored through the permanency of shot, enlarged and developed pictures. Such a magical format cannot be altered, doctored, or mutated: only appended with comments to be read and remembered fifty years away. The volatility of digital photographs destroys everything valuable: thoughtfulness, sentimentality, and tangibility of recollect-able memories.

Today’s technology improvement contenders often forget the warm memories of a life once- lived. Rapidly accelerating improvements are great for the short term, but most signs of insight have been lost. Nevertheless, I take pride in shooting on film. At least I will feel the deep yearning for my younger days, explain a time long-forgotten to my grandchildren, and share a memory with a better technology long expired.