by Robert Earl Houston
Today, I gathered together a stack of old photographs. I gathered them together, some of which are from years ago, from another time, from another era, from another lifetime, and went into a remote area, and started a fire. As the fire was roaring, I tossed each photo into the flames.
It was long overdue. Sometimes, in order to put things completely in the past, you need a complete and powerful statement of that separation. For me, it was photos. Photos tell a store. Photos capture a snapshot in time. Photos are, in the words of my old photography teacher, Henry Sjoblom, periods to a sentence that can never be turned into an asterick or comma.
So, today, I placed a period down on some memories. As they burned, as the smoke rises, as the odor of chemicals from paper violated the airspace, I said goodbye and good riddance to a plethora of memories that are both tangible and mental, that have yielded nothing productive or comforting to my life today, nor have brought any sense of pride or joy to my heart.
Why continue to celebrate that which is dead? Why continue to remember milestones that have become nothing but painful remembrances of what could have been? Why celebrate failure instead of success?
Years from now, when I’m dead and gone – those photos will never been recovered, never used for a funeral program, never used to place on a screen – because as far as I’m concerned, it is a period. And yes, it’s a beautiful fire.