Memories drawn with light

Monday July 4, 2022

What are your favourite photographs of? People? Places? Plants? Animals? Events? I hope you’ll share some in the comments.

Photographs are essential aids for memory recall for people like me. I don’t have a naturally good memory when left unaided. “Do you remember when…?” is a question I’m often asked by others who seem to have far more accessible recall. My answer is usually, “No, I don’t remember.” But a photograph can paint a thousand words - and retrigger emotions too, and these, in a moment, almost in a flash.

I was once told ‘photography’ meant ‘painting with light’ but ‘drawing’ or ‘writing with light’ is closer to the etymology of the word. It is thought to be coined by Sir John Herschel, a British Scientist, in 1839. Reviewing my photos throws light on to my past and allows me to retrace the thoughts, drawing the threads of memory together.

Thus, I consider curated photographic collections to be great friends of good mental health. I’ve used a site called Flickr for years. ‘Serious’ photographers use it to showcase their best work, and they often have over a hundred ‘likes’. I use Flickr for a different purpose. It’s my memory back-up! I don’t get many ‘likes’ but then the pictures are really there for me.

Scrolling back in time, I’ve reviewed 7 years in as many minutes. The flavour of some of the memories have shifted - especially where friends or family have gone through changes of circumstances or are no longer with us. On the whole, however, it’s been a joyous journey to the past.

It is clear that ‘favourite places’ are a major feature of my library – especially the National Trust gardens and house at Kingston Lacy. It’s been good to be reminded of it throughout many seasons. Let me ask you to share which photographs do you the most good to review? Would you share some memories with us all today? I ask this with the explicit intention of helping you to feel good about some of the highpoints on your life’s journey.
Finally, we may all go out and create some more excellent memories this week.

A Moodscope member.

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