It is Saturday afternoon and I need a nap. All week I build a deepening sleep deficit and by Saturday I am desperate to catch up. But my husband is indulging in a golf game, my son is here playing quietly (but a four year old still needs at least a slightly alert adult in the room,) and the Blogging Chicks Carnival deadline is tonight. No nap for me.
But my mind is messy, clogged and uninspired. I hop on over to the Chicks’ site to find out this week’s theme for the Carnival – yes I know I do leave things to the last minute – and read that it is “Favorite Things.” Hmmm…well I could write an ode to my pillow – I do love my bed and the down duvet and pillows that cradle and comfort me when I finally get to slip in for a (much deserved) nap… Instead I click over to A Doggy’s Life (I just discovered her last week at the carnival and reading her is (almost) as good as eating cake.) Reading great writing always makes one a better writer. And I could use some help today.
In her post Doggy Stuff she writes about how on the first night of class she asks her students to name one thing they might go into a burning house to retrieve. She explains:
Many people get it. They know I don’t expect them to burn, literally or figuratively, for a diamond ring or a Palm Pilot once people and pets are safe. I just want to know what objects hold mysterious sway over them, what they can cradle in their hands—like a special stone picked up from the ground at Dachau’s concentration camp, like their daughter’s first tooth, like the collar of their best dog—to have all of life come rushing back like some great big unstoppable wave…
What would you save? A dog’s whisker? Your son’s first rattle? The ashes of your grandmother? Would you, like so many of us, grab the pictures first?
And that is it – with that question I know my favorite thing. Of course my son and his sweet laughter and my niece and her deep blue eyes are my favorite things in the world. Of course I would ensure that they were safe first. But my favorite “things,” the earthly objects tied to this realm, come so clear with her simple question.
If my house were burning down, I would be breaking through the arms of my husband, tearing past the firefighters, desperate to save my photographs.
It would be a futile task though. There are thousands to retrieve. Albums from my childhood, scrapbooks only half-finished, boxes of photo not yet sorted and scrapped, and my laptop and CD’s containing all my digital images. There are too many. I suppose I would first grab the scrapbooks and the laptop – they would be the quickest to get to. (As well, the laptop contains all my journals and writing, my other favorite things that I would want to save.) But to see any of my precious images burn would devastate me and I would be frantic and weeping like the flood and hurricane victims we see on the news.
Yes, my favorite things in this world are my photographs.
I love taking pictures – trying to capture moments, freezing love and emotion. Getting a great shot is a sweet rush and I savor and gaze at it on my computer for hours, completely intoxicated. I could spend a lifetime staring at my images, laying them out in scrapbooks and playing with them in Photoshop. So to lose them would be almost as tragic as losing my memory itself. Without the photos, my mind can only bring back unpolished fragments. I want the image too, and with perfect lighting if possible.
I crave time to take more classes and learn more about photography, to glean from artists who create such striking images. I wish I had time to scrapbook and record all the love behind each one of my favorite shots.
And although my photos are imperfect – I have so much to learn – I am grateful for the photos I do have, for the images that record the moments of my son Jackson’s and my niece Julia’s lives. To create beautiful pictures of these two treasures in my life – well that is second only to loving them in the first place.
Yes, photographs are my favorite things.
Find out what your other blogging friends’ favorite things are at the Blogging Chicks Carnival.