I only wanted to upload a couple photos from the microSD card. It was going to be faster than sending the images one by one from my stupidphone.
I didn’t realize that the card had photos from both Nancy and me, from last night and from 2008. And because the numbering scheme of the phones we use is odd, all those years were mixed together.
There was a photo of my dad, gone for almost three years. There were good photos from seasons I’ve not wanted to remember. There were images from events I’ve forgotten. Most images triggered stories.
I used to process my own black and white film. I’d take the pictures. I’d put the film cartridge and developing tank into a black bag, about the size of a plastic grocery bag, and zip it closed. I’d reach through the armholes, which had elasticized wrists like a windbreaker. I’d fumblingly load the film onto a reel and put it into the developing tank. Back in the light, I’d pour in the chemicals, developer, stop bath, fixer. I’d rinse it forever. And finally, I could open the tank and see whether the shooting worked, whether the processing was right.
The processing is much simpler now, from a technology perspective. But with the simplicity of shooting, I think I’m losing the capacity to keep up with the processing. Memories take developing, just like pictures. And if I keep shooting and don’t stop to process, to develop, to reflect, to consider, I’m missing something.
“Remember the Sabbath,” we read, “to keep it holy.” Tell the stories, remember where you came from, remember where you are going. Stop only creating new experiences. Reflect on the ones you already have, lest you get caught up in novelty.
Stop taking images. Instead take time to develop images.