This Is For Scraptahlon, Week 4
Do you know what the best thing about pictures really is? It’s not just that they are memories frozen for us to look at after the actual events are over. The greatest thing about pictures is that they are memory triggers! A memory trigger you say? How so?
Well, there are people with great memories and others whose memory isn’t so sharp, but most people can remember the general activities of major events. Have you ever grabbed a stack of pictures though and had one unlock the specific details of the picture that you otherwise might not have remembered? It triggered a deeper memory! Take this picture for example. Looks like a couple kids posing for a quick picture outside a house…unless you are one of the kids in that picture and the memory trigger hits you! My brother and I (the two posing) had been called upon to help our father (behind us on the ladder) put the Christmas lights up. Now our father was serious about lights…four or five trees in the front yard plus the large bush in the picture, the house outside and in, and the Christmas tree itself. So these Christmas light adventures were not short…these were major expeditions into interior and exterior lighting. Again, via the picture, you can see dad using the rake (what a great idea, don’t you think) to drape the lights onto the bush while my brother and I had the glorious task of untangling the light bulb mess and keeping it flowing towards our dad. And CLICK…picture was taken. Simple enough ending…if it stopped there. What the trigger opened was the memory of my brother and I using this break in holiday light hanging to begin a series of “let’s find things to do to get out of what we are doing” activities. Throwing a football, a few tag-you-are-it games, the gradual drift towards the garage in the hopes dad won’t notice you are gone routine. Any small distraction would lead us away from the task at hand. Eventually dad’s voice and mom’s homing beacon (we never could hide from her) corralled us back to our job and nothing was allowed to pull our attention again until the lights were twinkling merrily from every selected spot. The crispness in the air that day, the feeling of fun and family, even the frustration of both of us (from having to help) and our parents (for having to harp on us to help) flooded back when this memory opened. Memory triggers don’t happen all the time but when they do the feelings are intense and amazing. So go ahead, dig out those old photos, and don’t overlook a single picture…..you never know which one will pull the trigger.