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During recent (this winter) move to new flat I've lost old (pre-digital) photos from my childhood and also photos of my parents and grandmother.
The thing is, I've been keeping all these photos in drawers, loose, I knew they are there, but never really cared to sort them chronologically or thematically and put them into albums. They were always there. I must have put them in some sort of plastic bag (there were several hundreds of them) and probably threw them into the container together with old shoes or something.
Someone would say nothing happened, but it's not that easy, psychologically. I still have my parents' wedding album left, one album my parents kept with photos from my childhood (up to, say, when I was 12 years old) and a dozen of random photos from early 00ies or late 90ies. Basically everything from 1992 to 2004 PLUS old photos of my parents and grandmother is now gone. It's still part of my memory and - big word - heritage.
I'm trying to cope with the loss in various ways.
1. Photos are not important, memories are. Funny thing is, I never cared for them, unless I lost them. It's this Freudian thing, when you discover that pursuing is more fascinating than having. So why care for a photo of your granma (I have none now) if you have a memory of her.
2. Photos are only objects. Sure, they are depictions of people you knew, but - ultimately - they are objects, like chairs or spoons. So losing photos is no more or less important than losing an everyday tool, like if your favourite cup is broken.
3. Everything will be gone sooner or later. I will die, our Universe will die. Keeping things (including old photos) is as much important as breathing. Or - sorry to say this - defecating. It just happens and everything from photos to memories will turn to dust anyway, so why not getting over it and keep living. It's just particles switching positions.
Enough of the philosophy, now positive things.
This loss might actually become a good turn in my life. I have developed, with time, an obsessive compulsive syndrome of "capturing the moment". I begun to make photos of pretty much everything from unimportant family events to empty streets in Italy and store those photos. Ugly, blatant photos. No, this is not something rare, probably millions of people have the syndrome, including some of you recording gameplay videos (future generations will see me playing Amiga game, wow). So, this maniacal drive for capturing moments has become sort of a burden. Instead of living the life I started collecting visual (this is important - it was very one-sided) representations of it.
I had a first glimpse of post-loss life at Pixel Heaven 2018. Normally, I would maniacally photograph and record every interesting bit of the event. Now, when my granma is visually gone I've lost the continuity and integrity, so why keeping visuals of everything else? Photos from mountain hikes, world trips, meetings with family and friends, parties - they are less important.
So I made only 14 photographs instead of 1000+ I would normally do. Sort like I had an epiphany.
Have I just reported that I had discovered a new disorder I hadnt knew I had (boy, I do have a couple) or there's something inherently human and deeply XXI-st century-ish in this confession?
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