I have just deleted all the photographs stored on my computer. Pictures of my grandchildren, places I shall never see again, a thousand beautiful moments frozen in time and never to be recaptured … all of them, gone in a flash.
Have I suffered some kind of mental breakdown, you ask? Well, when I realised what I’d done, I almost did. But this was not the deliberate act of a desperate man, determined to obliterate his past. Nothing so grand and dramatic. This was just an old fool way out of his depth with new technology. Somehow I managed to select everything (and not just the photo I wanted to trash) before pressing Delete. The process seemed to be taking an awful long time, I thought, for just one picture … and then it hit me between the eyes.
it wasn’t just one picture … I’d only gone and binned the lot … boohoohoo … but was sympathy forthcoming? Judge for yourself from the following transcript by putting yourself in my position.
You: I’ve lost all my photos.
She: And what do you expect? You don’t know what you’re doing on that wretched thing. I’ve told you to get prints run off.
You: But there were hundreds of them.
She: Put them in a nice little album, take it out and show people, something you can hold in your hand.
You: Hundreds and hundreds …
She: Never mind, what about that cloud thingy you set up? Won’t they be on there?
You: Not any more. It was too expensive. I stopped paying for it.
She: Well … you’re paying for it now.
Of course, one day soon you’ll be able to laugh about it. Hahaha, you will guffaw, for what are photographs but static records of Still Life when every moment you are surrounded by Life As A Movie?
Hohoho, you will chuckle, for instead of relying on second-hand images you can feed on direct memories with all their sense impressions and rich emotions.
Heeheehee, you will wheeze – don’t forget I mentioned the fool was old – yes, Heeheehee, for what is a photograph but a lie and a cheat when you know the only thing that interests you in life these days is getting down and dirty with the truth?
And then you think of all the hours you spent setting the little works of art up ,,, watching for the perfect moment … framing the shot for optimum effect … charging the bloody batteries …
Yes, one day soon you’ll be able to laugh and laugh about it.
But not yet.