Friday, July 29, 2011

What to Save


The photos in this post are ones I took more than a year ago, but I've just gotten around to processing them tonight.  They are of peonies and sea thistle on the windowsill of our old loft.  When I look at them now, I vaguely remember the day I photographed these.  It was nearing sunset.  I was sad, so I'd bought myself flowers, and I snapped shot after shot of them as the sun slid down behind the old brick mill across the canal.  

I have blocked much of that spring from my memory, I realize now as I skim through old photographs.  It hasn't been a purposeful forgetting, just a failure to remember, a failure to hold on.  I let whole days fall away, sloughing off the calendar like dead skin.

Memory and time feel different to me now.  I gather up moments, days, and press them to my face like blossoms.  When they finally fall from the stem of my weeks, I scoop them into bowls and jars and drawers to save, letting their scent linger.  

Let the sun slip from the sky.  Let night's heavy lid close over my dreams.  I remember all that I need, all that is good, all that my heart can hold.

  

20 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and very poignant post. Just two days ago I copied down a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that Cobalt Violet had posted on her blog:
    "I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred,
    I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant."

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  2. This post strikes such a chord; I, too, have been obsessed with thinking about time recently. You have hit upon such beautiful phrases for describing how we sometimes cherish moments in time, and sometimes let them just "fall away." Some very important things have happened to me this summer, but in a strange way I've felt too frantically busy to properly register them. The time of peonies is just so brief!

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  3. *sigh*


    What a way to start my day...A reminder to actively remember {your words and photos} and a strong coffee.

    Thank you...
    xo

    I love the barbed wire around the jar, perfection.

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  4. I have often experienced times like these, but never so eloquently.

    xo jane

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  5. lovely, lovely - it's been said that "words never replace feelings", but you may've come close....reading your words serve as balm for we who are not such masters of the written word

    have a new grand-nephew, and my "baby" will be 23 in two days, so time is much on my mind - it is fleeting

    life is fine, God is good......all the time

    Judy in Ft Worth

    joodieg@charter.net

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  6. So much of what you express resonates with me too... In recent years now tinkering a lot with taking photos, it is interesting to go back and look at old photos, the speak of a lot of things about the time, about me, what was happening. Photos, like the sense of sight play a lot with our memories. I am glad you are able to process some of last year, of time now. And to gather time now, gently gather it to savor. :o) ((HUGS))

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  7. Beautiful! It sings in my heart and I can appreciate your reminiscences.

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  8. This is so beautiful... I love the way you write. I find it totally engaging and wonderful. Have I ever mentioned that you inspire me Gigi!!!

    You are a bright little light in my life :)

    Angela x

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  9. it's hard to let go of photos, as they are my memories the older i get, since i forget so easily....

    so all of my photos from the past 3 years are being organized and stored on an external hard drive....

    so that i can always remember.

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  10. Dearest Gigi,

    Probably it is far better that you did process your photos now! The raw edges have come off and you newly detect the tender beauty in them. There is always beauty to be found, light shining upon them and showing us a different angle of life.
    Go forward and frame all those moments with a silver lining and delete the ones that dulled your memory...
    Lots of love,

    Mariette

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  11. i dove into your blog today. it is real and true, personal and beautiful. i imagine i will spend many more hours with you. thank you.

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  12. So glad you saved them Gigi, they are incredible and knowing that bring you beauty and peace this year is even better. Much love XO

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  13. "I gather up moments, days, and press them to my face like blossoms." I love this. love imagining that the blossoms leave their imprints, love imagining that those imprints are the beginnings of laugh lines or even worry lines, love the idea that they will still be with me with I am an old woman. That they make me who I am.

    Inspired stuff. Thank you.

    xoxo

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  14. Oh my, Debi, you just gave me chills. Yes. Yesyesyes. Thank you, too. xoxo

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  15. going through old photos to edit is a fun treasure hunt as far as i'm concerned! well done with this one Gigi.

    as far as the passing of time and memory goes...one thing i've learned to do well also is to let the less favourable ones slip too...why waste precious energy hanging on to the sour or bitter or sad when we can enjoy really savouring the memories that feed our souls and our being :)

    i really think it's okay to say goodbye to the ones that cause us sadness...

    wishing you a Happy Monday and i'm not sure but i may be travelling to Boston in a few weeks and that made me think of YOU...seeing as you are from that area aren't you? or was it Maine? No...Maine. Yes...see...my memory is failing me....

    xoxo

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  16. Oh, Gillian, it's not failing you! I used to live outside Boston, so you associate me with both places. That means your memory is really excellent, because you remembered this. :) xo

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  17. I started a blog and became more serious about photography when I realized how closely related to photos my memories are. The older photos are indeed my blossoms that I inhale deeply...and I have found that I generally only have photos of happy events...Your words and your photos are as inspiring as always!

    xoxo

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  18. What a beautifully written post. To me, memories are treasures of the heart.

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  19. Oh, Gigi! I have been away from here to long. One second here and I am breathing in deeply, and I swear I can smell those peonies. And your blog redo - gorgeous!

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  20. How can these impossibly beautiful images be photographs? Surely they were painted by your fair hand!

    Gigi, this post may be, I think, my favourite you've ever posted. The lingering melancholy exuded in these images perfectly balanced by the longing and love in your words. Just beautiful.

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