I have a love/hate relationship with pictures. They are a moment, captured, turned into a still, one-dimensional object (well, I guess pictures as objects have sort of become a thing of the past with all of the current technology). We are trying not to forget something, someone, someplace, some event that will slowly fade and erode in our memories over time, so we take a picture. We share that picture, we try to include those who were not there by providing them with a visual representation. Pictures allow us to remember, they also allow us to travel back into the past, away from the present and all of the current joys and sorrows.
Pictures always feel like a great big reality check to me. Sometimes they remind me of things like, I’m really not as fat as I think I am, or, I wasn’t having as bad of a hair day as I thought I was. And sometimes they lead me to realizations that I’d rather not have, like the photos of my dancing when I realize that my hands were doing weird things or my lines were nowhere near as clean as I had thought they were. I spent a large portion of my evening going through photos taken during a dress rehearsal for a show a week and a half ago. The pictures made me feel disappointed. I felt disappointed in myself. What had felt like amazing dancing was captured as sloppy dancing with so many faults I seriously questioned my decision to return to the stage for two more performances with my dance company. And then I felt disappointed in myself for allowing what was a joyous memory start slipping across the line of good memory to bad. A handful of bad photos should not make or break a memory. A life should also not be lived wallowing in memories when the present has so much to offer and is ripe for new memory making.