Faded Photographs and Blurred Memories

We believe that a photograph is a portal to the time that it holds, frozen within its dimensions.

We expect the memories of those moments to resurge and leap at us, drawing us deep into those whirlpools of emotions.

But I found out that it doesn’t happen that way, as I waited patiently with this faded photograph that had locked within, a beautiful time of my young life.

I must have been 12 then, in the mid 80s . We were competing in the School District Youth Festival.

I can recollect only the basic details. The photograph was taken in the night, outside the house which was rented for us. Our costumes were red with star sequins stitched over the white panels at the bottom. All the make up made me look ethereal and I didn’t want to take it off.

Other particulars evade me like slippery eels as I frantically try to grab them. The photograph has faded and so have my memories.

Those once familiar faces of my friends are now names that I am struggling to recollect.

I can remember only the ones to my left and my right as we reconnected through facebook; Anita and Biny.

I can’t retrieve the little things. My memories of the moment aren’t tangible. The images aren’t adequate to narrate the story , filling the gaps between hours.

All I could feel is the silence that settles in when something that has been struggling, succumbs and lays still.

I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.

Nan Goldin

Categories: Memoirs

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