Johnny Harris made a wonderful video about how he utilizes pictures in order to remember his life. He stressed, above all, the importance of deleting many many photos that we take of the past. By doing this, two things happen:
- We only save the important memories
- We look at our photos more
By preserving only our important memories, we feel inclined to look at our photos more, since they are not mostly garbage. In addition, the process of deleting photos takes time, in which we notice, enjoy, and keep the good ones.
This advice is great an all for someone who takes many photos. But the truth is, I’m not a photographer, and I don’t take many photos at all. I’d be lucky to add 10 new actual picture photos in a year. So, this advice makes me think, should I be taking more photos?
I’ve always not cared particularly for remembering the past. I’ve always justified it with the knowledge that the future will have even more fun packed in it, and ruminating on the past means diminished expectation for the future. But with Johhny Harris over here demonstrating he treats it entirely different, even going out of his way to remember what happened in his life, baffles and worries me.
I don’t have a great memory at all. If I keep up what I’m doing now, I won’t remember this moment, typing this into vis in a terminal window in pictures-memories.md, with the fall Chappaqua trees turning orange and red and some laggers still green, in just my PJ’s and a mathcounts t-shirt, pretty cold, window fully open, milk carton dangling from the curtain hook, without curtain bar or curtains.
Is that fine?
The point of history is learning facts about human nature that will help us in our own time. Are there lessons to be learned in our own histories about our tendencies, our aspirations, our social influences?
Perhaps more than any other kind of history, personal history is full of things we can learn about ourselves, and by not recording some of these things, I may look back one day from the future, when I’m in some weird ass country with no one I know, and realize how little I actually remember about myself.
I’m not a photographer, and I’m not about to start. But it’s pretty essential that I do something.
Oh look, I have a website! And a blog!