Listening to the radio one day, I heard an author say he had collected photographs of unidentified people and used his imagination to write short stories about them. I’ve thought of doing something similar with the old photos in my possession, because the author was correct: there is something compelling about pictures — of people who were once beloved and whose photos were probably cherished — that have somehow ended up in a place where no one knows who they are. Many of the pictures end up in the garbage. It strikes me as sad, but it makes sense too. So often, we don’t write names, dates and places on the back of pictures and sooner or later no one has a clue who-what-when-where-why.
I’ve been giving away many of my old pictures so that they will be with family of those who are in them, and not in a box where they will be meaningless and valueless to my own close relatives once I’m gone.
The author shared his writing routine for the collection of stories he has published. In the morning he’d choose the photo he would write about that day, then go do other things and let his unconscious come up with an angle for a story. He’d come back several hours later and voila, there it would be, ready to be written down and expanded upon. Now doesn’t that sound like a dream of a way to work?
I thought I’d try it. I chose this picture though, not one of people.
It’s so cold right now that it will be no surprise if there’s snow on the ground in the morning, which means I’ll have no wanderlust in me whatsoever and Emil, whom I’ve just picked up from town, will be disappointed that we’re not going to visit Uncle Neil.
I did, however, stop in at the library and sign out a few books that will be new to Emil. Maybe I’ll take butter out of the fridge to soften, and make some cookies. It feels like tomorrow will be “that kind of day.”