Remembering Is Remedial

A few days back, I got the sad news of a college friend who was at the beginning stage of lung cancer. Gulp.

It made me want to get on a plane, go visit, sit by his side, support, laugh, cry, and remember the past, together.

You see, remembering is remedial, always.

Yes, of course, the past can also be painful and heartbreaking.

But, more often than not, it can also be uplifting, gladdening, profound, warming.

This is why photographs, whether they live in camera rolls, shoeboxes, or attic family-albums, are so powerful and regenerative, even redemptive.

It doesn’t quite matter whether these photographs are atoms or bytes.

They move and transport us to places we once lived and cherished.

They stir, within us, remembrances of hope, happiness, good times, gentler times, joy, carefreeness, blissfulness.

This is probably the very reason I can never seem to clean off my phones.

I want my photos to be close at hand, and heart, and touch.

I want to be constantly reminded.

I want to pleasure in the present but treasure in the past.

I feel more connected to myself, and the world around me, when I know my photos are only an arm’s reach away

I want to be surrounded, even enveloped by recollections and reminiscences of my past.

My past connects me to my present.

I am the person I am today because of my past experiences in life.

Photographs are shuttles between worlds past and worlds present.

I wish I had photographs of my college friend. I don’t. I wasn’t into photography then, like I am today.

But I do have nostalgic commemorations of a brief life-shared. I’m hoping the best for you, my dearest friend. Fight like hell! Stay alive.



Jack Hollingsworth