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Photos vs. Memories

After spending quite a few months giving to others- January is a wonderful time to carve out a little special times just for ourselves. One of my favorite ways to refill my bucket is to refocus on my memory keeping.

There’s no doubt that once Autumn comes ’round- I am taking tons of photos- and that frenzy carries right through the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. Photos- yep, I have those. But memories? Ahh- yes friends, there is a difference.

Photos are those images we see and capture with our camera. Standing alone they can, as they say, speak a thousand words. But- if you were not behind the lens, deciding on why that moment was worthy of collecting, they can be silent. Their story only lives and resonates in your own heart- and maybe that story will be replaced by another. Perhaps it will fade or be forgotten or rewritten or softened by time- until- you squint to remember its magic.

A photo alone is too often like the sand from a vacation beach. It’s warm and magic for a moment- but unless it’s bottled up and labeled- it’s destined to slip through our fingers and blend into a larger picture that will encourage a general smile and nothing more.

Once you put a voice, your voice, behind a photo though, it becomes a memory. A memory that lives beyond your thoughts, beyond your own heart and it can be relived and shared even when your voice is silent. It takes on a magical life of it’s own and that is magic.

A voice can be given as humbly as a few notes written on the back of the snapshot or on the front of envelope in which you tuck it.

As for me- I love to embrace my memories embrace in a 12×12 square of patterns and pretties and tell your story with journaling bits and word strips and titles and symbols- and I not only find myself loving the story told- but the storytelling as well. That is my happy place- and I bet I’m not wrong in thinking yours looks a little like this too. We craft our joy. We are #joymakers

So here’s to a new year together- so many blank pages before us, waiting for storytellers like us to work our magic.  I look forward to writing it together. 

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1 year ago

Awesome article and a great reminder! I just finished cleaning out my parents’ home and so many (MANY) photos I just threw away. Some looked interesting, some were funny, but there were NO notes – no names, dates, anything to capture the story behind why the photo was taken. That said, I found a cache of my grandparents’ photos there as well and some of them had AWESOME notes written on the back – some of them written to five-year-old me, even! Those I cherish – and will scrapbook! Happy New Year!