A photo is like a scent…
It wafts in- presenting memories- sometimes eliciting laughter- sometimes bringing tears. Whatever the memory it seems almost always worth the emotion.
Seems sad how we fiercely guard our emotions so carefully these days. And yet no matter how protective of our hearts we are, we cannot protect against the random nature of memories. A picture, taken years ago, can crop up when we least want it to, causing us to splurge and purge our emotions, as if stuffed too full in a closet too small to hold them.
Whether we intended to take those emotions out of the closet, or whether we meant for them to stay locked away doesn’t really matter-because photos are not just distant scents of days gone by, but also they are the skeleton keys to our best kept memories.
Those that fear the turning keys hide them away. They hide them online or on unnamed discs. They hide them in drawers, or in boxes in basements.
But fear locks too much away. And freedom waits just a key away. The photos- these pass-keys- they are not instruments that hold emotions hostage. Instead they are justified links to the moments that make us- justified links to who and what we are, and that is something that should never be locked away.
Instead photos should be allowed to heal like soothing balm on savage wounds. After years of anger and sadness has ripped a family apart, photographs shared can show what once was, what was once hoped for, and what was once lived for.
And if those memories are honored a mending may occur.
If we are brave we will let ourselves drift back to those places the photos take us, back to those yesterdays, and todays gone by. It is there we will find our healing. But these photos are not magic, they do no grand thing. They heal only by their presence, and by what is shown within the photograph.
They show families at play. They show a newly married couple still in love. They show a child still golden. These photographs heal only because they are our truths. All the “he saids” and all the “she saids” fade away in the face of those truths of yesterdays.
And, as we gaze into our truths reflecting, somewhere a camera flashes capturing today- for tomorrow’s healing.-c.hannah
Go ahead, I dare you. Go get lost in yesterday today.